Children’s emergency care in South Tyneside changes today - this is what your family needs to know
The children’s emergency department at the borough’s hospital will now close every night at 10pm and re-open each morning at 8am, meaning families needing care during these night-time hours will instead have to travel to Sunderland.
Families are being urged not to attend South Tyneside during these times.
The changes to children’s emergency care services at South Tyneside District Hospital follow an ‘extensive’ public consultation process carried out by South Tyneside and Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Groups in 2017 – who say the new model means that children in the borough will now have ‘equal access’ to specialist consultant-led paediatric care 24 hours a day.
This has not always been possible for young patients at South Tyneside District Hospital, due to ‘ongoing and severe’ staffing pressures there.
In the lead-up to today’s changes, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust launched an awareness campaign to ensure parents across the borough were aware of the new model, and how it could affect their child’s care going forward.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Dr Geoff Lawson, clinical director and consultant paediatrician at the Trust, said: “These important changes to emergency paediatric care mean South Tyneside children will be seen much more promptly by the right healthcare professional 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“This includes ready access to specialist paediatric consultants 24/7 which is something we have struggled to provide consistently in South Tyneside over many years.”