South Tyneside and Sunderland hospital leaders' next steps in the Path to Excellence journey

Healthcare leaders in South Tyneside and Sunderland have confirmed a revised timeline for the transformation of local hospital services as part of Phase Two of the Path to Excellence programme.

Thursday, 8th August 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th August 2019, 5:45 pm
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After sharing a list of ‘working ideas’ in February 2019 for the future of emergency care and planned hospital care across South Tyneside and Sunderland, widespread involvement has taken place to openly encourage feedback from staff, stakeholders, patients and members of the public.

Over 12,000 views have been captured so far and this feedback will now be fully considered by South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust’s clinical design teams - made up of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals - who are leading the development of ideas for the future of hospital services.

Formal public consultation led by South Tyneside and Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) is now unlikely to start in late summer as originally anticipated and a revised timeline is currently being developed. This is to ensure that all feedback is given proper consideration and to allow clinical design teams to shape the best possible models of hospital care for the future.

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Since February 2019 and throughout engagement activity, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has been very open and clear that capital funding will be required to transform local hospital services in line with the three ‘working ideas’ and this must be identified prior to any formal public consultation taking place.

As well as pursuing all opportunities for national funding, the Trust has also held very early informal discussions with local authority partners about the potential to use Council borrowing powers to support the development of both local hospital sites.

Whilst any formal business case is yet to be developed, both Councils are open to exploring opportunities for capital investment to help improve and develop facilities at both South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Ken Bremner, Chief Executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our clinical teams have been working hard to develop ideas of how hospital services could work differently in the future but we know we will need capital investment to make any of them happen. As an NHS Foundation Trust, we have more flexibility to consider all options for funding and we’ve had some very early positive discussions with local authority colleagues about how they might be able to support us.

“Our ambition is to create truly outstanding future hospital services and by working in partnership we have the potential to deliver major investment into local services.”

He added: “We are positive and optimistic about the bright and vibrant future for both of our hospitals. By investing in our facilities we want to make them the very best places to work, the very best places to receive top quality care and treatment and attract staff who want to come and live and work here. This is all about making things better for patients, and enhancing, not downgrading, the services we offer.”

To find out more about the working ideas and to get involved and give your views on Phase Two of the Path to Excellence programme go to:

The hospital services involved in Phase Two of Path to Excellence


This is the care provided when patients arrive at Emergency Departments needing emergency admission to hospital or with an urgent healthcare need.


This is the care provided for patients who are admitted as an emergency and then require urgent surgery, or who have been referred by their GP for a planned operation.


This is the care provided in hospital after patients have been referred by their GP for a test, scan, treatment or operation.


These are vital support services such as therapy services (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy) as well as clinical pharmacy and diagnostic services (scans and x-rays).