South Tyneside and Sunderland health chiefs hit back at councillor critics

Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Health bosses have hit back at criticisms of planned health reforms in South Tyneside and Sunderland

Councillors for Sunderland and South Tyneside are so concerned about the plans, which would see changes to stroke, maternity and children’s care at South Tyneside District Hospital , they plan to take their complaints to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

South Tyneside District Hospital.

South Tyneside District Hospital.

The Sunderland and South Tyneside Joint Health Scrutiny Committee finalised its response to the Sunderland and South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Groups’ (CCGs) Path to Excellence on Tuesday (April 10) at Sunderland Civic Centre.

The panel was particularly critical of the attitude of the CCGs to the scrutiny placed on them –  something the health chiefs have rejected.

David Gallagher, chief executive officer at Sunderland CCG, said: “We are disappointed that overview and scrutiny members feel that they cannot support these important changes to vulnerable services.

“We’ve been very clear from the start that these changes have been about taking steps to protect services that are vulnerable because of a severe shortage of skilled medical and other staff.

“We are confident that our consultation process was open and transparent.

“The decisions about each of the services were done for the right reasons based on evidence and we know that staff within these services said they would like to get on with the changes and end the uncertainty.”

James Harrison ,

Local Democracy Reporting Service