A £6m health centre, offering a walk-in service, opens its doors to Wearside patients on Monday.
The centre will provide out-of-hours GP and dental services
The Grindon Lane Primary Care Centre in Sunderland is designed to complement existing health services and prevent unnecessary admissions to hospital.
Nurses will be on hand to offer emergency treatment to people suffering minor injuries and ailments.
Clinics for people with heart disease, diabetes and respiratory conditions will start in December.
The centre will also provide a base for out-of-hours GP and dental services, and is the first of a number of such facilities across Sunderland.
The City Council's Bunny Hill Multi-Purpose Centre, which will offer health, housing, welfare and education services under one roof, is under construction near Hylton Castle, and is expected to open in May 2006.
Sue Winfield, chair of Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust, said: "It is important that people understand that the new centres will not be the same as existing health centres of GP practices.
"They will enhance and broaden patient choice by providing an alternative to hospital for some service, and give patients faster and convenient access to new types of healthcare."