Meeting to discuss hospital plans postponed

South Tyneside District Hospital
South Tyneside District Hospital

A meeting to discuss the decisions over changes to three key hospital services in South Tyneside has been postponed.

The Joint Health Scrutiny Committee, which is made up of Members from both South Tyneside and Sunderland Councils, had been due to meet later today at South Shields Town Hall.

The special meeting was called in response to the decisions made by the governing bodies of South Tyneside and Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Groups, last week.

As part of phase one of the Path to Excellence consultation, the changes decided include:

l All acute stroke cases directed to Sunderland Royal Hospital.

l A free-standing midwifery-led unit (FMLU), known as a birthing centre, operated at South Tyneside District Hospital, with a medically-led obstetric unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

l The development of a nurse-led paediatric minor injury and illness facility at South Tyneside District Hospital – open 8am to 10pm – and 24/7 paediatric emergency department at Sunderland Royal. Before that, as a short-term step, there will be a daytime paediatric emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital and 24/7 paediatric emergency department at Sunderland Royal.

However, due to the weather, the decision to postpone the meeting has been taken.

Coun Robert Dix, Co-Chair of the Committee, said: “We called for a special meeting to be held as soon as possible after the decisions were made last week as we appreciate that the proposed changes to hospital services are a matter of great concern to local people.

“However, in these appalling conditions where people have been advised to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary, we have had to take the decision to cancel the meeting. I would like to reassure people we will re-arrange this meeting as soon as it is practically possible to do so.”

As yet no alternative date has been set.