Vigil held over NHS hospital trust's new alliance

South Tyneside District Hospital vigil. Front Unison Gemma TaylorSouth Tyneside District Hospital vigil. Front Unison Gemma Taylor
South Tyneside District Hospital vigil. Front Unison Gemma Taylor
Campaigners took part in a vigil in protest over a new alliance between two hospital trusts.

Members of the Save South Tyneside Hospital group staged the protest outside the Harton Lane site in South Shields, for two hours yesterday.

They held placards which expressed their fears over the alliance between South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospital Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

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Protesters are worried the borough will be left with a downgraded hospital, with more acute services being housed on the Wearside site.

Gemma Taylor, of the South Tyneside Public Service Alliance, who are spearheading the campaign group, said: “We were really pleased with the turn out, we never expected it to be a big affair that’s why we called it a vigil.

“We want people to be aware of the changes that may well be happen to their health services in South Tyneside.

“We campaigned tirelessly against the closure of Jarrow Walk-in Centre, but we feel like we had left that too late as the consultation had already started before everyone realised what was happening.

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“This way we’re letting people know there’s concerns that our acute services, which includes A&E, might not stay here in South Tyneside.”

The group has also launched a petition which has so far collected just under 1,000 signatures.

Members will be out in King Street, South Shields on July 16 and 23 to gather more support.

They will also be handing out postcards which can be sent to MPs.