Sunderland Royal Hospital could soon become the centre for stroke treatment for the city and South Tyneside, should new proposals get the green light.
Health chiefs are proposing different ways some of its care can be improved in South Tyneside and Sunderland as a public consultation is launched today.
The Path to Excellence public consultation was due to be launched today and will focus on areas of care delivered at South Tyneside District Hospital and the Royal.
The consultation includes:
*three options to improve stroke services, specifically hospital (acute) care and hospital-based rehabilitation services.
*two options to improve maternity services (obstetrics), covering hospital- based birthing facilities, such as where women will give birth and special care baby units and women’s services (gynaecology) and inpatient surgery where an overnight stay is needed.
*two options to improve children and young people’s (paediatrics, urgent and emergency) services
Meetings have been arranged to give people a chance to have their say.
Ian Martin, medical director for City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We want people to understand that we have clinical issues driving these proposals and any future changes to the way services are organised would only be made in order to improve the quality and safety of those services for the future.
“Any changes need to make the best use of our most important resource - our clinical staff - so we can meet the healthcare needs of our patients both now and in the future.”
Dr Ian Pattison, a GP and chairman of NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is a very important opportunity for local people to hear directly from their own local doctors, nurses and therapists who are working in these services.
“This will allow everybody to understand the challenges we face due to the way in which these particular services are currently arranged and critically how we think we can improve them.
“People care passionately about our NHS and we all have that in common.”
The public can find out more about the consultation from 6pm to 8pm today at Hope Street Xchange, in Hind Street, Sunderland city centre.
For more information on the consultation email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 217 2670 or go online to www.pathtoexcellence.org.uk.