Demolition work to start on 'unused' buildings at South Tyneside District Hospital to make way for 'more improvements', say health chiefs

Demolition work has begun on unused hospital buildings which health chiefs say will make way for more future investment.

Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 1:56 pm

Hospital leaders say The Leas building at South Tyneside District Hospital and a former staff accommodation block next door have been out of use for some years and are no longer fit for purpose.

Both buildings border Harton Lane, and preparations to bring them down have started after a notice of demolition was sent to South Tyneside Council.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation said it was communicating with people living nearby so they were informed of the work and why it was taking place.

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Work taking shape on the Integrated Diagnostic Centre at South Tyneside District Hospital.

But hospital chiefs say ‘an ambitious programme of development in South Tyneside’ shows the commitment to the site.

Peter Sutton, director of Planning and Business Development at the Trust, said: “For many years we have outlined our commitment to provide ongoing investment into our hospital site in South Tyneside so it is great to see work starting to take shape.

"Many of these projects have been a long time in the pipeline and although the pandemic has slowed us down, work is now very much gathering pace.

Work taking shape on the Integrated Diagnostic Centre at South Tyneside District Hospital.

“As we invest in new facilities, it is important that we also remove old, unused buildings as this saves us doing unnecessary costly maintenance work and means the site is also ready for future development.

"The commitment we have made through our £15million investment programme will see state-of-the-art facilities for the people of South Tyneside for many years to come.”

He added: “We would like to thank patients, visitors and local residents for their understanding as these works progress. There will be some disruption on site as demolition and building work takes place but please do bear with us.

"The end result will be much improved facilities for both our patients and staff.”

The new IDC facility in South Tyneside will also house a PET-CT scanner, meaning patients will no longer need to travel to Newcastle or Middlesbrough if they have a suspected cancer diagnosis.

The IDC is being built by Sunderland firm Brims in partnership with Alliance Medical and is on land where an empty nurses’ home previously stood.

Work will also take place later this year to remove the old pharmacy Portakabins opposite the Ingham Wing. This follows the opening of a new state-of-the-art outpatient pharmacy, situated inside the main hospital building in October last year thanks to a £800,000 investment from the Trust.

The new pharmacy features a top of the range robot, which automatically dispenses medication at the touch of a button helping to reduce waiting times for people picking up prescriptions.

Last year also saw the opening of a new £2million Endoscopy suite in South Tyneside and Trust leaders have also confirmed a £3 million investment to create a new fit-for-purpose Critical Care Unit at South Tyneside District Hospital.