Jarrow MP Kate Osborne adds her voice to anger and concern over controversial changes to children's A&E at South Tyneside District Hospital
Jarrow MP Kate Osborne has added her voice to the concerns of residents and campaigners over controversial changes to children’s A&E in South Tyneside.
The Labour MP said she is ‘extremely disappointed’ that children’s A&E services at South Tyneside District Hospital will become a new nurse-led urgent care service – without the facility to treat life-threatening cases – from August 4.
Bosses at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust say the new ‘South Tyneside Urgent Care for Children ’ will continue to treat the ‘vast majority’ of children who attend hospital with urgent, non-life threatening problems, and will continue operate from 8am to 10pm every day in the same location.
Ms Osborne said: “I am extremely disappointed with the recent announcement that children's A&E services at South Tyneside District Hospital will change from a consultant-led service to a nurse-led urgent care service from August 4.
“I share the concerns of my constituents who are rightly worried that this change will require children who need more specialist care, or who need to be seen out-of hours, to travel to Sunderland, or to be transferred to the 24-hour Children’s A&E service at Sunderland Royal Hospital.”
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck and Save South Tyneside Hospital campaigners have criticised the changes and raised the same concerns over the risks posed by increased travel time for children with life-threatening conditions.
The changes are the latest controversial move under the Path to Excellence shake-up following the merging of Sunderland and South Tyneside’s hospital trusts, which has already seen stroke treatment and overnight children’s A&E moved to Wearside, and a midwife-led maternity unit set up at the borough’s hospital.
Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaigners are holding a 'hoot for our children's A&E' outside the hospital each Friday lunch time, with a rally against the children’s A&E changes planned after July 19.
Trust chiefs said they were working closely with all health and care partners, including local GPs and the North East Ambulance Services to ensure a smooth transition to the new nurse-led urgent care service.