A health trust’s annual meeting has recognised the work, commitment and achievements of hospital staff during an “exceptionally busy and challenging year” for the NHS.
This year alone, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has reached significant milestone’s including the completion of its new emergency care footprint, which includes state-of-the-art adult and paediatric emergency departments and Integrated Assessment Unit and a new specialist treatment centre in Durham.
It also reflected on the trust’s ambitious plans to join forces with South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust to form South Tyneside and Sunderland Healthcare Group.
One year on since forming the strategic alliance with South Tyneside, Chief Executive Ken Bremner reported on the Trust’s journey over the past year, the challenges and priorities for the year ahead and the ambitious vision to develop healthcare services in Sunderland which will benefit local communities for many years to come.
He said during the first 12 months of the strategic alliance, detailed work has been taking place to discuss how hospitals in Sunderland and South Tyneside, as well as community teams, can work better together to improve quality of care and address challenges facing the whole NHS.
The annual meeting was told temporary arrangements to move stroke services to City Hospitals Sunderland has already resulted in improved outcomes for patients across Sunderland and South Tyneside as the teams share knowledge and expertise.
Commenting on the progress during the past year, the Chief Executive said: “We’re at the start of a very important transformational journey for healthcare services across Sunderland and South Tyneside and as I reflect on my first year overseeing both trusts, I would like to thank all staff who have worked extremely hard during a time of significant pressure across the entire NHS to put the needs of our patients first.
“The alliance we have formed between our two organisations provides a very strong foundation to improve the quality and sustainability of our services in the long-term and to manage the exceptional demand and financial pressures that we collectively face.
“We have started to make some real progress with the appointment of a single executive management team and our absolute focus now is on making sure we build services which are fit for the future and on making sure we listen and learn from our teams, and from our patients, to continuously innovate and improve the quality of care we offer.
“The Path to Excellence programme will form a critical part of our future success and it is important that we are honest about the challenges we face and work together on solutions for the future.
“We very much look forward to continuing to involve our staff, patients, the public and our key stakeholders as this work progresses over the coming year.”