Celebrating ten years of Blaydon Walk in Centre

Posted on Mon, 29/07/2019

Dionne Haggerty, Junior Nurse Practitioner, started her career at Blaydon Walk In Centre when it first opened its doors a decade ago. Here she shares her experiences of how the site has changed over the years.

Ten years ago, I started my nursing career in Blaydon as a Health Care Assistant – alongside four other people in the team, who all still work there today. It was fantastic to celebrate the birthday of the walk in centre together recently and think about how the centre has changed over the years.

When I think back, Blaydon Walk in Centre began in what was essentially a hut! Our temporary accommodation in those first few months overlooked the new site and we watched with anticipation as the building was finished.

I can remember the day we moved everything into the brand new building and it was an amazing feeling. The building was filled with modern equipment and facilities. There was an xray machine, plaster room and oxygen in rooms.

For two years I was an HCA at Blaydon and did things like assisting the nurse in triage or taking observations.  These days, the role of an HCA is a lot broader, for example, they now do plastering and run their own dressings clinic.

I was then lucky enough to be given the opportunity to train at university and follow my dream of becoming a nurse.  

I'm now a Junior Nurse Practitioner and it is interesting to think about how the scope of practice for Nurse Practitioners has also broadened over the years, for example we can now prescribe medication for patients. 

My job is incredibly varied, as Blaydon can deal with all sorts of ailments from:

  • Minor burns or scalds
  • Minor head injury
  • Eye infections or minor eye injuries
  • Suspected broken bones, sprains & strains

I also see a lot of children with rashes, ear ache or head injuries.  However, like other NHS walk in centres, we are also seeing a lot patients with more complex needs than we were ten years ago.  The volume of patients has, of course, also increased over the years. Because of this, I think it’s important that people need to know that the walk in centre is not appropriate for:

  • Acute chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Non-urgent treatment that could be treated by your GP
  • Routine services such as blood tests or wound dressing / suture removal
  • Second opinions after a patient has seen their own GP

I’ve loved working at Blaydon over the years. The knowledge and expertise of the team here is second to none. It’s been amazing to celebrate a decade of Blaydon together over the last few weeks.


Blaydon is a nurse-led unit for patients with minor injuries and illnesses. It is staffed by specially-trained nurse practitioners, staff nurses and healthcare assistants. You do not need an appointment for this walk-in centre, just turn up and wait your turn to be treated.  For more information, please visit https://www.qegateshead.nhs.uk/blaydon


Call us on 0191 482 0000

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