Sunderland and South Tyneside hospital merger plans on agenda today

South Tyneside District Hospital.
South Tyneside District Hospital.

Councillors are this morning due to discuss a planned merger between South Tyneside and Sunderland health trusts.

Members of a scrutiny committee will meet at 10am at South Shields Town Hall to discuss the potential merger of Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trusts.

Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Sunderland Royal Hospital.

City Hospitals Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust have worked together in strategic alliance since 2016 and share the same mission and values, councillors will be told.

A presentation to members of the Overview and Scrutiny Co-ordinating and Call In Committee outlines that both trust boards are keen to seek a merger as they believe they will be ‘Stronger Together.’

Councillors will be told that by having one trust, the future of healthcare services in South Tyneside and Sunderland could be secured. They will also be assured that both hospitals in South Tyneside and Sunderland will continue to play key roles in the future, regardless of whether the merger goes ahead.

The presentation will outline the benefits of the proposed merger which NHS bosses say will include greater access to services, improved continuity of care and better patient outcomes.

Chairman of the committee, Coun Rob Dix, said: “As the proposed merger is about organisational change, there is no requirement for formal public consultation.

“However, as a scrutiny committee we have a duty to provide oversight and consider whether such a move is justifiable and in the interests of our residents.

“I would also urge people to come along to the meeting to find out more about this potential merger.”