Over 1,000 comments made on possible Sunderland and South Tyneside hospital changes

Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The first stage of a public consultation over proposals to change hospital services in Sunderland and South Tyneside has gathered over 1,000 comments from the public.

Called ‘The Path to Excellence’, the public consultation was launched last month and will run for 14 and a half weeks until Sunday, October 15.

South Tyneside District Hospital.

South Tyneside District Hospital.

It focuses on some areas of hospital care which are delivered at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital, including stroke care services, maternity (obstetrics) and women’s healthcare services (inpatient gynaecology)

Urgent and emergency paediatric services.

City Hospitals Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS foundation trusts formed an alliance in March 2016 to work together more.

Public events will start again in September with additional events being planned and will be announced soon.

Nine events have been hosted across South Tyneside and Sunderland during the consultation so far, which have been attended by 329 people.

Over 1,000 comments have been received and 3,836 visits made to the consultation website

There has also been 142 responses to a survey received to date.

Dr Shaz Wahid, medical director for South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’ve already had a number of very helpful comments and suggestions on how these proposals might be improved upon and we would very much welcome further public and staff involvement in the next phase of the consultation process.”

“Staff working in both hospitals are being encouraged to share their views and to submit any further ideas they might have as to how services could be best delivered in the future.”

Public consultation events have been organised in a way to allow people the opportunity to hear directly from NHS clinical leaders about the key issues under consideration and so they can give their views in a way that allows them to be captured, analysed and reported so that they can influence the outcome of the consultation.

Dr Matthew Walmsley, a GP and chairman of NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We have been very clear at the public events that this is the opportunity for staff and the public to influence these proposals and that no decision has been made.

“All comments will be included in the independent analysis of consultation feedback and any ideas arising from these will be assessed in line with the key tests around delivering safe care, sustainable, deliverable for the future and affordable.”

Ian Martin, medical director for City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We would like more people to engage with us over the next 10 weeks and take different opportunities to get involved to ensure their comments and views are captured in a way that can help influence the final decisions by the clinical commissioning groups.”

Additional events are being arranged for September and October, including a dedicated event to consider the issue of travel and transport which we know is extremely important to members of the public.

To find out more sign up to My NHS via the www.pathtoexcellence.org.uk or contact the Path to Excellence programme.