NHS issues ambulance reminder for parents of children needing overnight emergency hospital care after reports of unauthorised community transport service in South Tyneside

Health chiefs have issued an important reminder on access to children’s overnight emergency care following ‘significant concerns’ about an unauthorised community transport service in South Tyneside.

North East Ambulance Service
North East Ambulance Service

Following changes made to children’s emergency care, NHS chiefs are reassuring the public that ‘robust’ arrangements are in place with North East Ambulance Service for any children who need overnight emergency care to be transported to Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Following the changes, extra ambulance capacity was put in place and, in the unlikely instance that a child does arrive at South Tyneside District Hospital after 10pm who needs urgent transfer to Sunderland Royal Hospital, arrangements are also in place with the North East Ambulance Service to support this.

The message to parents and carers in South Tyneside is very clear - if they are worried about their child after 10pm at night they should call NHS 111 for urgent medical advice or call 999 for an emergency ambulance.

In a statement, the Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust said: “The reminder comes following significant concerns about an unauthorised community transport service.

“The NHS is very clear that parents and carers should always call NHS 111, or indeed 999, if they are worried about their child.”

Jeanette Scott, executive director of nursing and quality at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The safety and welfare of children in South Tyneside is our prime concern and it is important that people follow NHS advice if they are worried about their child overnight. Our message is simple, please use the NHS 111 service or dial 999 in an emergency situation.

“Extra ambulance capacity is in place to ensure the safe transport of children overnight from South Tyneside to Sunderland Royal Hospital and this has been working very well since we made the changes to children’s emergency care services in August.”

The children’s emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital closes every night at 10pm and reopens every morning at 8am. Overnight emergency care for children up to the age of 16 is provided from the Children’s Emergency Department at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The new model means children from South Tyneside will now have equal access to specialist consultant-led emergency paediatric care 24/7.