Fight to save acute services at South Tyneside hospital continues

South Tyneside District Hospital vigil.
Front Unison Gemma Taylor

South Tyneside District Hospital vigil. Front Unison Gemma Taylor

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A campaign fighting to keep acute services at South Tyneside Hospital is gathering pace, with union members being called upon for support.

The Save South Tyneside Hospital campaign was launched in response to a new alliance between South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospital Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

“We want to ensure there is proper consultation in relation to any changes to the hospital and the services it offers.

Gemma Taylor

The petition has almost 1,500 signatures in support of keeping acute services in the borough, and was launched because of fears that South Tyneside could lose key services in the reorganisation

Hospital bosses say that, with the NHS facing the greatest demand and financial pressures in its history, an alliance which involves the trusts working closely together to deliver clinical services is the most effective way to secure sustainability of quality health services in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

The group, spearheaded by the South Tyneside Public Service Alliance and the Green Party, has issued a call to union members to get behind its campaign.

Gemma Taylor, area organiser and South Tyneside and Sunderland Public Service Alliance co-ordinator, said: “The petition was only launched a few weeks ago and it has already had 1,300 signatures.

“We have held talks with the chief executive at the hospital and will be out again on Sunday raising awareness.

“We want to ensure there is proper consultation in relation to any future changes to the hospital and the services it offers. We want to ensure acute services stay in South Tyneside.”

People are being asked to get behind the campaign by signing the online petition at www.change.org/p/no-downgrading-of-south-tyneside-hospital; liking the group’s facebook page www.facebook.com/SaveSouthTynesideHospital or visiting the group’s website www.savesouthtynesidehospital.org/.

Campaigners are also asking for people to write to their MPs and councillors.