Here are the answers to to some questions you might have about the Path to Excellence programme.
Q. Will either South Tyneside District Hospital or Sunderland Royal Hospital close?
We cannot emphasise strongly enough that South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital will continue to be here but we do need to think differently about how we arrange hospital services for the future. We must be realistic that the challenges facing the NHS will not go away. It is right that we look to transform services so we can protect them for many generations to come.
Q. Which areas of care will be looked at as part of Phase 2 of the Path to Excellence?
Phase Two of the Path to Excellence programme will look at emergency care and acute medicine, emergency surgery and planned operations, planned care and outpatients as well as clinical support services which includes radiology, therapies and pharmacy. Our ‘working ideas’ all commit to 24/7 provision of urgent / emergency care services on both hospital sites.
Work is still ongoing to develop these ideas further.
We understand that people want to know right now exactly what services will be where in the future, so they have that certainty.
The process of transforming hospital care is complex and complicated, it is not linear.
We are working hard to ensure staff, stakeholders and patients are involved and to make it as easy as possible for people to understand the issues we face.
We do have to be mindful though that a public consultation is a legal process, and we absolutely do not want to pre-determine any future decision as that’s unlawful in consultation law.
We will always share as much information as we can, when we can.
Q. Why do services need to change?
The NHS is facing significant challenges in a number of areas which are not simple to solve and are all very closely interlinked with each other.
We have identified a number of issues relating to the pressure our workforce is currently put under, the need for quality improvement, future demand for services and the need to consider financial constraints.
For further information on these issues please see our Autumn 2019 update document here