For over a year now, Emma has actively supported the Save South Tyneside Hospital campaign, despite cries of “scaremongering” from the Trust and others. What Emma and the campaign predicted would happen is indeed now being consulted on.
The downgrading of South Tyneside Hospital is now a very real prospect.
The current consultation process will see changes to stroke services, maternity, gynaecology and children and young people’s healthcare (urgent and emergency pediatrics). The Clinical Commissioning Group and the Trust have publically asserted that the options put before the public for consultation were devised with input from the clinicians at South Tyneside and Sunderland Hospitals. However, this is disputed by many of the clinicians at South Tyneside Hospital who state that they were actually actively blocked from having input into the options.
In July Emma wrote to the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee for South Tyneside and Sunderland Councils, asking them to invoke their powers to refer the consultation to the Secretary of State for Health. Only this Committee can make that referral.
The request has now been twice rejected. Copies of all related correspondence can be seen below (Please click on the links twice to view responses):
Emma said that “It is of great concern to me that the Committee continues to dig its heels in on this matter, I have provided them with evidence and the legislative framework that makes my request totally viable. Adhering to my request would reassure the people in South Shields and South Tyneside that their Council is united with their MP in doing all they can to save our hospital”
Emma has been invited to speak at a meeting of the Joint Scrutiny Committee meeting on September 4th at South Shields Town Hall at 2pm. Emma will use this opportunity to re-iterate her concerns and to respond to the most recent letter she received from the Committee. This is a public event and Emma urges as many people to attend as possible.