'I wish we'd fought harder' - Families share devastation over changes to children's emergency care at South Tyneside District Hospital

Gazette readers have slammed the decision to change emergency care provision for children aged 16 and under at South Tyneside District Hospital.

Families have spoken out about the changes to services at South Tyneside District Hospital.
Families have spoken out about the changes to services at South Tyneside District Hospital.

In a move announced this week, the hospital’s children’s emergency department will close at 10pm each night until 8am the following morning, meaning young people in need of medical attention during those hours will travel to Sunderland Royal Hospital instead. 

Health chiefs say the new system, which will come into effect on August 5, means South Tyneside children who need emergency hospital treatment during the night will now have equal access to specialist consultant-led paediatric care 24/7.


But families in the borough have criticised the decision and called for the service to stay as it is.

Here is what you had to say on the Shields Gazette Facebook page:

Emma Elizabeth: “As a long-term (and very recent!) service user, I am devastated by this news. It is frightening thinking about the future of our lovely borough without South Tyneside District Hospital, but as news like this lands, it’s a reality we need to face. I wish we’d fought harder.”

The changes will come into force in August this year.

Kay Foreman: “An emergency means you are in need of urgent attention. How many people may lose their lives because of the extra time it will take to get care. Sounds dramatic but it's a fact.”

Louise Archer: “I hope the people who have bashed South Tyneside Hospital for years are happy. It’s slowly but surely closing bit by bit and by God it’ll be missed.”

Amy Epsly: “I know many of the staff do not support this reduction in service. I am absolutely devastated.”

Lynne Miller: “That extra travelling time could have dire consequences. Our children deserve better.”

Jay Brunton: “It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Dave Rose: “All the people complaining on here. Never saw any of you outside our hospital campaigning to keep it open!”

Stacy Louise Burns: “We need it to be local for our children.”

John Lodge: “Now just look here we have a fantastic service that without doubt saves lives and we people of South Shields are going to let it slip away without a protest.”

Rachael Wood: “Absolutely disgusting! Wonder what will come next.”