A major consultation into the future of hospital services in Sunderland and South Tyneside is launching this week.
Health bosses will publish proposals for how they plan to deliver care at Sunderland Royal Hospital and South Tyneside District Hospital on Wednesday as a three-month consultation gets under way.
While medical bosses claim the move is a vital way of making “big improvements”, those opposed to the move have labelled it a “path to closure” for many vital services in the South Tyneside area.
The move follows an “alliance” between the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS trusts last year.
It forms part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), which aims to find £900million in cuts to health and social care budgets in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and North Durham by 2021.
The trusts say the proposals will help tackle the “clinical issues” around delivering services at the moment.
But campaigners in South Tyneside have branded the exercise a “path to closure” of services at South Tyneside Hospital, and believe the future of the Harton Lane site is in danger of being downgraded.
Article from Chronicle Live, 3 July 2017