NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Sunderland CCG, the two bodies responsible for the commissioning of local health services, are to decide the future of three areas of acute hospital care in South Tyneside and Sunderland as part of the Path to Excellence consultation.
The areas of care under consultation are:
- Stroke care services
- Maternity (obstetrics) and women’s healthcare (inpatient gynaecology) services; and
- Children and young peoples (urgent and emergency paediatrics) services.
An extraordinary meeting in common of the two statutory NHS organisations will take place on:
Wednesday 21st February, 2pm to 4pm, Hebburn Central, Glen Street, Hebburn, NE31 1AB
Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting, which will also be broadcast live via Youtube. Public gallery seating will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Links to the live broadcast will be available via the programme website www.pathtoexcellence.org.uk
Dr Matthew Walmsley, chair of NHS South Tyneside CCG and a local GP will chair the meeting in common of the two statutory NHS organisations.
Dr Walmsley said he recognised the high level of public interest in the final decisions.
He said: “Over the last few months both Clinical Commissioning Groups have been considering all the information gathered during the formal consultation from the public, patients, staff, the two hospital trusts, clinical networks, the North East Ambulance Service and other stakeholders such as campaign groups, elected members and members of parliament.
This has allowed the opportunity for further comments received from the public feedback sessions from the draft consultation feedback report, other data or views to be considered as well as consideration of alternative service models that have been suggested through the public consultation.
Dr Walmsley continued: “So there is no element of doubt and to be categorically clear, retaining the status quo and not making any changes is simply not an option for these vulnerable services – and as health care leaders who are senior doctors and nurses in charge of local health services we must act in the best interests of patients – our first and fundamental duty of care to our patients is to do no harm.
Dr Ian Pattison, clinical chair of NHS Sunderland CCG, said: “These are very important decisions for South Tyneside and Sunderland residents that have rightly required the two CCGs to work closely together. The final decision will take place by a meeting in common of the two statutory CCG governing bodies. This will enable members of public to observe the decision making process of both governing bodies at one venue at the same time.
He said: As NHS bodies, we hold regular formal governing body meetings in public, this allows the opportunity for members of the public to observe our discussions, considerations and decisions about how NHS services are planned and delivered to meet the needs of our local population.
“I’d like to remind people who would like to attend that they are firstly very welcome, however, it must be noted that this is not a public meeting for further debate with the public on the consultation issues, but the two statutory NHS organisations holding a business meeting in public.”
Papers for the extraordinary meeting in common of the two governing bodies are available at https://pathtoexcellence.org.uk/decision-making/
The final decisions will be communicated to public, staff and stakeholders as soon as possible after the meeting and the day after.