Hospital chief's call for help as Bank Holiday looms

Hospital chiefs in South Tyneside are warning that patients are likely to face long waits for emergency help as industrial action leads into a Bank Holiday weekend.
South Tyneside District Hospital.South Tyneside District Hospital.
South Tyneside District Hospital.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust – which runs South Tyneside District Hospital – says the effects of a two-day strike by consultants and the three-day public holiday are also likely to have a knock-on effect on services next week.

Consultants will be taking industrial action from 7am on Thursday, August 24 to 7am on Saturday, August 26 – followed by Bank holiday from Saturday, August 26, to Monday, August 28.

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Patients with appointments are being asked to attend as usual, unless they are told otherwise.

Dr Sean Fenwick.Dr Sean Fenwick.
Dr Sean Fenwick.

Hospital chiefs are asking people to help ensure emergency teams are free to help deal with those in a life-threatening condition by preparing in case they become unwell or injured and make sure they seek support from the right place if they do need urgent attention.

Dr Sean Fenwick the Trust’s deputy chief executive and director of operations, said: “The industrial action brings us additional challenges in the lead up to the Bank Holiday, but people should be assured we are here to help those who need us.

"Patients will be told in advance if the appointment with their consultant has to be rearranged.”

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He added: “We want people to enjoy the weekend, but do everything they can to be ready in case they do need help.

“NHS 111 online and on the phone is always a good place to start and will make sure you get the help they need from the right place if they need to

be seen in person.

“A well-stocked medicine cupboard is always a good idea and pharmacists are an excellent source of advice and help for people who are not feeling well or have a minor injury.”

He added: “These measures can also help us make sure our emergency departments are ready to help those most in need of help.”

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Details of pharmacies open during the weekend across the region can be found at

Anyone in need of urgent mental health support should continue to seek it through their local Crisis Team. Go to