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'The Path to Excellence' public consultation

A consultation to gather public views around the different ways aspects stroke, maternity (obstetrics), women's services (gynaecology) and children and young people's urgent and emergency (paediatrics) NHS services could be arranged in South Tyneside and Sunderland will start in July 2017.

Called 'The Path to Excellence', the public consultation will run for 14 and a half weeks from Wednesday 5 July until Sunday 15 October, and will focus particularly on areas of hospital care which are delivered at South Tyneside General Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital including:

  • Stroke services specifically hospital (acute) care and hospital-based rehabilitation services
  • Maternity services (obstetrics) covering hospital-based birthing facilities i.e. where you would give birth to your baby
  • Women's services (gynaecology) covering inpatient surgery where you would need an overnight hospital stay
  • Children and young people's (paediatrics urgent and emergency) services and special care baby units.

The Path to Excellence programme is being led by a partnership of local NHS organisations including NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust - working together as the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Partnership.

Between them they are responsible for commissioning (planning, choosing and buying) and delivering many of the major healthcare services across the area, including the healthcare services we talk about improving in these public consultation proposals.

This period of consultation will include a series of public events and a range of ways for local people to get involved, find out more about the issues under consideration and to give their views.

The purpose of the public consultation is to allow local NHS clinical leaders to explain the challenges around the way these services are currently being delivered, the different ways local doctors, nurses and hospital-based therapy staff think these services could be provided both now and in the future, and to listen to public feedback about these different proposals.

NHS leaders will explain how the proposals are the hospital-based parts of national plans to improve care across local NHS services. They will share the information they have used to come up with the proposals, for example the best practice clinical evidence from the Royal Colleges, feedback from patient experiences and engagement, the independent travel impact review that has been carried out, current hospital service quality indicators and information about resources and finances.

The NHS is asking local people to consider this information and share how they think these potential changes may affect them or if they think the proposals can be improved and how things might be done differently in the future.

This period of consultation will also allow NHS clinical leaders to work together with patients and the public to generate ideas and shape solutions, ensuring as many people as possible have their say on any potential changes.

Public feedback will be analysed into themes and publicly reported to ensure it influences the final decisions which will be made by the two NHS clinical commissioning groups later in the year.

Any future changes to the way services are organised would only be made in order to improve the quality and safety of those services for the future, as well as making the best use of public money and meet the needs our population both now and in the future.

How to get involved

There are a number of ways you can get involved to ensure your views are heard. All information about the different ways to be involved is available at

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