Wednesday 9th June 2021

Our petition No to the Downgrading of South Tyneside Hospital has been presented to Parliament

SSTHC campaigners handing over our long running petition to our local MPs on College Green, with the Westminster Parliament in the background

On June 9th a deputation of 16 people from South Tyneside and Sunderland representing the 44,000 people who had signed the petition, handed over the petition to Emma Lewell-Buck MP for South Shields, as well as Kate Osborne MP for Jarrow, and Sharon Hodgson MP for Washington & Sunderland West. The petition was then presented to Parliament by Emma Lewell-Buck MP

The petition was launched in 2016 over the concerns to downgrade our hospital through what was claimed as a Path to Excellence. Since then the Path to Excellence has already led to the loss of full maternity services, 24 hour children's A&E, the Special Care Baby Unit and the hospital stroke rehabilitation ward. Presenting the petition has highlighted that these closures of our vital services are going to continue in this government driven programme of cuts and privatisation of our health services.

As the petition shows, these closures have not been agreed by the people of South Tyneside or Sunderland, and they are not in our name. Health care is a right in a modern society and it is the people of South Tyneside who should decide on the services that our hospital provides. We need to retain access to vital coronary care, ITU and other acute services at South Tyneside District Hospital. We need to retain a full trauma A&E, along with other vital services such as our full maternity service, and 24 hour consultant led childrens's A&E.

Full SSTHC press statement can be found here...

Hansard is the official report of all Parliamentary contributions, debates, petitions and divisions, dating back over 200 years. Below is the text from the Hansard record of the official presentation of our petition to parliament by Emma Lewell-Buck MP for South Shields:


Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields) (Lab)

I rise to present a petition about South Tyneside Hospital on behalf of 44,000 of my constituents in South Shields.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of the constituency of South Shields,

Declares that the downgrading of South Tyneside Hospital announced in the alliance between South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust (STFT) and City Hospitals Sunderland (CHS) with loss of acute services will be a disaster for the people of South Tyneside and the people of Sunderland; further that the removal of all acute services to Sunderland will make the Sunderland A&E unsustainable and will mean that people from South Tyneside will have to travel to Sunderland or Newcastle; further that the immediate threat of this alliance is the loss of acute stroke and maternity services; further that the decision to downgrade South Tyneside Hospital demonstrates that the Government's direction with the NHS is to reduce its funding and damage it through its fragmentation into purchasers and providers, closure of acute hospitals and A&E Departments, cut-backs and the takeover of the most profitable services by private health companies; further that the Government has a duty to provide a comprehensive health service across England to all communities; and further that access to healthcare is a right of all in a modern society and we demand that it be guaranteed.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to work with NHS England, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group and South Tyneside Health & Well-being Board to stop any plans to close acute services at South Tyneside District Hospital and to safeguard its Accident and Emergency Service.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

Emma Lewell-Buck MP also called on the Prime Minister to say no to the downgrading of South Tyneside Hospital during Prime Minister's questions on the same day:

The full text of the petition can be found here (PDF). Please note that the petition was written in 2016 before the merger of South Tyneside Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland.


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