Clinics for more than 1,000 patients told to leave Monkwearmouth Hospital

Monkwearmouth Hospital
Monkwearmouth Hospital

Health bosses are preparing to move clinics for more than 1,000 elderly patients to a new location – despite having surveyed less than a quarter of them.

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (CHSFT) currently provides outpatient services for about 1,100 patients from Sunderland and South Tyneside at Monkwearmouth Hospital.

But managers now claim they will have to relocate the clinics to Sunderland Royal Hospital by the end of the month after being served notice by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTWFT).

Tom Dodds, City Hospitals Trust head of planning, told Sunderland City Council’s Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee: “At various points in time there’s been plans for the site.

“They have now given us formal notice to get off.”

Services currently delivered at Monkwearmouth include clinics for rheumatology and neurology patients.

Coun Jack Cunningham asked when consultation on the move began and how many patients had been contacted.

Mr Dodds said verbal surveys had started about a month ago - during which time about 150 had been spoken to – about 15 per cent of those affected.

However, he claimed the move was unlikely to prove to provoke too much opposition.

He said: “In terms of feedback it’s not a particularly popular site anyway.

“We’ve done verbal surveys with the patients to ask do you like coming to Monkwearmouth and about 80 per cent of the feedback has been that they don’t really like it as a site to attend.

“We haven’t got any choice but to relocate and the best option that fits us it to relocate everything to the Sunderland Royal Hospital site.”

He added transferring clinics to the Royal could also speed up treatments due to the availability of better diagnostic facilities on the site.

A spokeswoman for NTWFT said notice was first served on CHSFT asking it to leave Monkwearmouth in March 2013.

James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service