Dr Darshan Boregowda, Consultant Anaesthetist and Clinical Director at South Tyneside District Hospital, believes both hospitals have a bright future by working together to achieve better things for patients.
Talking about the challenges facing the NHS, Darshan said Phase Two of Path to Excellence is an exciting time to deliver better quality for patients and a real opportunity for South Tyneside and Sunderland to lead by example nationally on how to deliver person-centred care.
As an Anaesthetist, Dr Boregowda spends most of his time in the operating theatre. He often looks after patients who need an emergency operation – the most common types are to fix badly broken bones, to remove a gall bladder or appendix, or to carry out an emergency procedure to open up the abdomen to find the cause of severe stomach pain.
Last year, across both hospitals, there were around 8,000 emergency surgical admissions - around 6,000 at Sunderland Royal Hospital and around 2,000 at South Tyneside District Hospital. Of these, around a third of people went on to actually require emergency surgery.
Darshan puts workforce pressures at the very top of the list of challenges being faced locally. He explains that competing demands on surgeons’ time can often mean planned surgery is disrupted as emergency surgical cases must take clinical priority.
“It is an expectation now to have consultant-delivered emergency services. That can only be achieved if we pool our resources to have more specialist surgeons delivering care at the right time, in the right place to improve the quality of services provided.”
He also went on to say diagnostic services are an essential part in management of any emergency surgery so that patients are quickly diagnosed and treated.
The driver for changing local hospital services is to improve patient-centred care. NHS leaders want to listen to the needs of local patients, as well as the views of staff, to come up with future services which are well suited for everyone.
Darshan understands that any change process can be challenging but that change is needed to improve team resources and deliver better patient outcomes.
Speaking about the future he said: “There will still be two hospitals across Sunderland and South Tyneside delivering services slightly differently but for the betterment of quality and use of resource. There is a bright future for both hospitals working together as one team and an opportunity to really lead by example at a national level.”
How to get involved
NHS leaders in South Tyneside and Sunderland want you to get involved to help shape the future of your local services.
To find out more about The Path to Excellence programme, including events, surveys and consultation, you can register with your area below:
It’s important that you provide your feedback during Phase Two of the Path to Excellence programme and share your views and ideas about how to improve NHS services locally.You can also visit the Path to Excellence website here for up-to-date information, links to surveys and upcoming events.