Due to Covid-19 we have changed the way we operate our appointment system.

Appointments are being carried out over the telephone, face to face or via a video consultation. If you require an appointment, please telephone our reception – do not turn up at the surgery unless we have advised you to do so. Online appointment booking is currently suspended in line with Government guidance. If we do request that you attend the surgery we ask that you wear a mask or face covering. Thank you for your co-operation.


We operate an appointment system for GPs and nurses. We offer a range of pre-bookable, same day and urgent appointments.  Appointment slots are 10 minutes – please do not save up a list of problems for one appointment as we then run late for other patients. We will always see children under 5 years old on the same day where required.

Please be aware that we do not see patients with minor injuries. If you need treatment for a minor injury call 111 and they can book you into a minor injury appointment at Houghton Primary Care Centre or Pallion Health Centre.

Appointment Availability

Across the country GP surgeries are experiencing increasing demand which is putting pressure on the system. The result is that patients are struggling at times to get appointments.

We understand the frustration that this is causing. We are constantly looking at ways to tackle this problem within the financial constraints that we have to work with.

In the meantime additional resources have been put into primary care if not directly into our surgery. We would encourage you to look at these additional options as they are designed to ease the pressure on GP surgeries.

  • Asking at your local chemist for advice on simple ailments/ medication queries
  • Accessing online advice via NHS Choices
  • Telephone 111 for advice or to book an extended access GP appointment – see below
  • Contact the Wellbeing Service for counselling 0191 5665454
  • Contact SHARP for financial advice 0191 3856687

Finally a few things that would help us immediately would be to ask you to

  • Contact the hospital directly with queries or for test results
  • Please cancel appointments that you cannot attend or no longer need to make them available for others

Extended Access

You can also access GP appointments outside of normal surgery hours. The service operates Monday – Friday 6pm-8.30pm and weekends 9am-5.30pm.

Appointments are available at:
Houghton Primary Care Centre
Washington Primary Care Centre
Pallion Health Centre
Southwick Health Centre
Riverview Health Centre

Appointments can be booked by contacting our reception or by calling 111 if the surgery is closed. The service is run by local GPs who can access your medical record with your permission.

Book appointment on line

PLEASE NOTE  – Online appointment booking is currently suspended  – we will have this back up and running as soon as it is safe to do so

To access the on line booking facility you first need to call into our reception to register. This only takes a few minutes and the receptionist will explain the process to you and issue you with a password. You will then be able to make, cancel and rearrange your GP appointments on line.

We will always see patients the same day for urgent problems. Please contact us as early as possible with urgent requests.

We always try to minimise the waiting time for you and, whilst we try to see you at the appointed time, some patients’ appointments may take longer than the time allocated, so please be patient if there is a delay. It really helps us if patients turn up on time. If you turn up significantly late for your appointment you may be asked to rebook.

We will always try to give you an appointment with the doctor that you prefer but sometimes this may mean waiting slightly longer for the appointment.

If you need to cancel your appointment please let us know as soon as possible so we can offer it to someone else. Each month hours of GP and practice nurse time is wasted due to patients not turning up for their appointments. Ask at reception about signing up to our text reminder service. You’ll receive a text message when you book your appointment and again 24-48 hours before your appointment.

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