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Residents unhappy about possible hospital merger plans

South Tyneside Hospital
South Tyneside Hospital

Readers say they are unhappy about proposals of a possible health merger between health bosses in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

This week hospital chiefs in South Tyneside and Sunderland opened up the possibility of becoming one organisation in the future.

Yes they are going to merge alright. Merge every service in Sunderland

Brian Goodman

The move came almost two years since the trusts came together to form the South Tyneside and Sunderland Healthcare Group.

The boards of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust now say there is a ‘mutual desire’ to begin looking at whether the two organisations could merge.

However, they claims there is no suggestion that South Tyneside District Hospital would close as part of any new arrangement.

But, South Tyneside residents are dubious about what would happen in the future.

On the Shields Gazette’s Facebook page, Jo Liddle, said: “No matter what they say, or how they spin it, there is a fundamental lack of trust in this whole programme.”

Marie Burnett, said: “Since they are taking all the services from Shields anyhow what is going to change?”

Phil Brown, said: “Semantic spinning going on here, its doublespeak. The consultation has been panned.

“Why has Mr Bremner gone public? There is no cementing going on here. The potential for asset stripping of essential, life saving services has actually begun with withdrawal of the heart and stroke teams.

“A&E and especially the threat posed to children’s A&E, which is a current 24-hour consultant/specialist led service is an overwhelming concern.

“No, I am totally not swayed by these beguiling comments of Mr Bremmner.”

Brian Goodman, said: “Yes they going to merge alright. Merge every service in Sunderland.”

Ken Bremner, who has been chief executive officer across both trusts since September 2016, said: “We have made great strides since coming together to form the South Tyneside and Sunderland Healthcare Group, with many clear benefits for our patients.

“The strengths of working together across a greater geography are already abundantly clear and our aim is to make it as easy as possible for our teams to work effectively together without unnecessary organisational boundaries.

“This is really just the start of that conversation and we are committed to engaging with patients, staff and stakeholders as this work progresses over the year ahead.”

As it stands, South Tyneside and Sunderland operate as separate trusts, each with its own board of directors, with a single executive management team in place.