The downgrading of South Tyneside Hospital was announced as part of the “alliance” between City Hospitals Sunderland (CHS) and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust (STFT) in April 2016. Subsequently CHS planned a “merger” with STFT, which took place on April 1st 2019, forming South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.
The Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign (SSTHC) started its fight to oppose the resulting loss of acute services in May 2016. People throughout the borough - including health staff - joined us knowing that this will be a disaster for the people of South Tyneside, and also for the people of Sunderland whose access to acute services will be under pressure by the closure of acute services in South Tyneside.
Since then SSTHC has organised many demonstrations, with several taking place outside the hospital. Hundreds have attended our public meetings, and in 2019 our petition exceeded 42 thousand signatures.
At the moment the Trust executives are preparing phase-2 options for public consultation later in 2019. These are likely to downgrade more of our acute hospital services, including our A&E.
The attempt to downgrade South Tyneside Hospital is fundamentally a result of the whole direction in which the government is taking the NHS. It is deliberately reducing NHS funding, it is wrecking the NHS so it can enrich the private health corporations at the expense of our health care.