Busiest winter for GP service

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NORTHUMBERLAND’S out-of-hours GP service has recorded its busiest winter on record.

Northern Doctors Urgent Care received a fifth more calls to GPs than last year, with a total of 17,852 in December 2011, compared to 15,028 in December 2010.

The increase reflects the organisation’s expansion to Teesside from the areas it already covers in Northumberland, Newcastle and North and South Tyneside.

During Christmas and New Year Bank Holidays it received 5,227 GP calls in Northumberland and Tyneside, and a total of 8,190, over four times the usual number in a typical month.

It also recorded its busiest ever hour, between 9am and 10am on December 27 when 339 calls were made.

To contact the service call 0300 123 4343.