Changes to South Tyneside hospital services next month
Hospital bosses are gearing up for changes to children’s emergency care and maternity services at South Tyneside District Hospital, which will come into effect next month.
From Monday August 5, the children’s emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital will close every night at 10pm and reopen every morning at 8am.
Overnight emergency care for children up to the age of 16 will be provided from the children’s emergency department at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Children’s emergency care will still be available every day from 8am until 10pm at South Tyneside District Hospital and there are no changes to adult emergency care services which will continue to operate 24/7.
Hospital chiefs say the new model for children’s emergency care means that children from South Tyneside will now have equal access during the night to specialist consultant-led emergency paediatric care.
The changes will take place alongside the opening of a new midwifery-led birthing centre at South Tyneside District Hospital.
The centre will offer more choice on where to give birth for local women across South Tyneside and Sunderland.
Women who have a low-risk pregnancy, which is problem free will have the option of giving birth at home, at the new midwifery-led birthing centre at South Tyneside District Hospital, under midwifery-led care at Sunderland Royal Hospital, or at another maternity unit of their choice in the region.
Women who have a high risk pregnancy will be advised to give birth in the Trust’s consultant-led unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
The majority of all antenatal and postnatal care will continue to be provided locally, just as it is now.
All women’s healthcare (gynaecology) will be delivered as it is now other than for women requiring an overnight hospital stay.
These changes complete phase one of the Trust’s Path to Excellence programme, which included maternity, women’s healthcare (gynaecology), emergency children’s care and acute stroke services.
Dr Shaz Wahid, Medical Director of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “These important changes come into effect within the next few weeks and we want to make sure that people are aware of the changes and what they need to do.