Public opinion wanted on health trust’s plans

PATIENTS and residents are being invited to say what improvements they would like to see at their local hospital as part of a ten-year development package.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which manages hospitals across Northumberland and North Tyneside, held a series of events between October and December last year to give information on its plans to improve healthcare.

Members of the public were invited to attend the sessions, which also included an update on the planned new specialist emergency care hospital in Cramlington and the integration between hospital and community services.

Officials at the trust are now looking for feedback from those who attended the events to see what they would like in their local hospital as part of any redevelopment.

The majority of the questions already raised focused on patient care, communication and information, reduced waiting times, environment and facilities, and car parking.

Steve Russell, director of medicine and emergency care at the trust, said: “This feedback is providing us with a really good insight into what people feel is important to them in their local hospital.

“It’s encouraging that many of the issues that people told us are important to them are already part of our plans.

“For example when we redevelop Wansbeck and North Tyneside general hospitals we will be looking to provide more single rooms with en-suite bathrooms, more space and facilities on the wards, and refurbish clinics and public areas.

“We also plan to have an enhanced patient information and advice service.”

The trust is currently undertaking a £200m programme of investment to improve healthcare for the people of Northumberland and North Tyneside over the next ten years.

This includes building the new specialist emergency care hospital just off the A19 near Cramlington, upgrading services and facilities at Wansbeck and North Tyneside general hospitals, and rebuilding Berwick and Haltwhistle community hospitals.