Save our local hospital services
Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign Group (‘the campaign group’) is seeking to raise funds to support our campaign in relation to the proposed cuts and reconfiguration of the following hospital services at South Tyneside Hospital :
- Children and young people’s healthcare (urgent and emergency paediatrics) services
- Stroke care services
- Maternity (obstetrics) and women’s healthcare (gynaecology) services
We are concerned that there are real flaws in the proposed changes and the changes could lead to losing our local hospital services. More information about the proposed changes to services and details about the campaign group can be found on our website:
Forcing the people of South Tyneside to go to Sunderland for hospital services could involve travelling over 30/40 minutes or over 1 hour at peak times. Travelling by public transport could involve 2 or 3 buses or metro/train journeys changes. The extra travel time could risk lives of children and patients. Families would have to travel much further to visit sick relatives.
Who we are?
A link to our website is https://www.savesouthtynesidehospital.org/news/?a=*
We’re ordinary people from South Tyneside who want to save our local hospital services so that it can provide vital services to its community and meet the needs of vulnerable groups in our area. We launched the campaign in May 2016 and so far we have led campaign marches locally and nationally, held rallies and public meetings. Our local MPs, Emma Lewell-Buck and Stephen Hepburn are supportive of our campaign work.
We continue campaigning to date, holding regular meetings for members of the campaign and wider community to attend. We need your support to raise our legal costs to challenge this closure.
What are we doing?
With help from specialist public lawyers at Irwin Mitchell we are challenging the legality of the decision to remove some vital local hospital services at South Tyneside Hospital.
This is a huge challenge but if we work together we believe that we can help to Save South Tyneside Hospital. This is a david and goliath situation –the NHS have already engaged lawyers and consultants to advise on the proposed changes.
The changes are likely to be introduced very soon and therefore we need to act quickly. Some changes are already being made and we will obtain advice about whether the changes have been made lawfully.
What We Need
We have set a starter fundraising target of £5,000 to cover legal costs to:
- Provide initial advice on the prospects of a judicial review after reviewing the voluminous documents.
- Engage in correspondence with the relevant CCGs and NHS Trusts to obtain disclosure of relevant documents and confirm that no changes will be made until a proper legal process has been completed.
- Analyse responses received from the relevant CCGs and NHS Trusts and obtain advice on our rights and the merits of a legal challenge.
- Donate what you can; every penny helps!
- Share this page with friends, family and social media networks.
What do we want?
The community campaign group is working with public law solicitors at the law firm Irwin Mitchell, in order to investigate potential serious legal flaws about the way which the clinical service review and consultation was conducted. We are working with Irwin Mitchell to assess whether we can bring a public law challenge to the proposed changes, by way of judicial review proceedings.
What’s happened so far?
South Tyneside NHS FT and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS FT conducted a review which led to a public consultation which closed on 15 October 2017 and the results are currently awaited. A draft report of the NHS Trusts is expected in December 2017.
The public consultation included the following options with regards to the change to services at South Tyneside Hospital:
Urgent and emergency paediatrics
At present both urgent and emergency paediatric services are offered at South Tyneside and Sunderland. Both options given in public consultation propose the removal of a 24 hour paediatric emergency department in South Tyneside. The proposals are to replace this with either a limited paediatric emergency department at South Tyneside (only open from 8am – 8pm) or for the development of a nurse-led minor injury service (again, only open 8am – 8pm). The provision of 24 hour emergency paediatric services would relocate to Sunderland.
At the present, a full range of stroke services including emergency treatment and specialist stroke nurse practitioners were offered in both South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital (All acute stroke services were temporarily moved to Sunderland in December 2016 pending the outcome of the consultation). Three options were put to public consultation, all of which involve moving all hyperacute and acute stroke care to Sunderland Royal Hospital. Two of the three options provide for patients to be transferred back to South Tyneside Hospital for in-hospital rehabilitation either three or seven days after initial admission.
Maternity & Gynaecology
At present South Tyneside residents can access maternity and woman’s healthcare services at South Tyneside Hospital (Service temporarily paused by the Trust from December 4 2017). This includes a Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and emergency and major planned gynaecological surgery at South Tyneside. Two options were contained within the public consultation, both of which include moving the SCBU service to Sunderland Royal Hospital. One option provides for the development of a free-standing midwifery led unit at South Tyneside Hospital for certain births.
Why do we want to challenge these cuts and changes to NHS services?
We want to save our local NHS hospital services.
We think that the process undertaken up to the public consultation was flawed and that, as a result, the results of the public consultation cannot be relied upon. The campaign feels strongly that the proposals for change would be to the detriment of the population of South Tyneside.
Parents are worried that they will not have a appropriate local NHS hospital service to treat sick and disabled children or an appropriate NHS hospital maternity unit.
We do not believe that the clinical service review included all of the relevant senior staff and consultants involved in the relevant services, from both South Tyneside and Sunderland. We therefore do not accept that the options posed in the public consultation were based on a proper clinical service review. In addition, we do not accept that the transport report can be relied upon; the North East Ambulance Service has yet to comment upon how they will meet the needs of local people should the NHS services above be transferred to Sunderland.
NOTE:Should it transpire there are no grounds to proceed to Judicial Review, in accordance with Crowd Justice's Terms and Conditions, we will donate any unused funds to another similar legal challenge, via Crowd Justice or the Access to Justice Foundation.
Thank you from the Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign Group!
There are no public comments on this case page.