Local Time-line

This time-line shows events relating to the health services in South Tyneside and our region. You can combine this time-line with one showing national events.

Make use of the many links embedded in the time-line for more details, and if you think there is something missing, then please let us know via our contact page.

Key Events
General Description
June: Closure of the children's ward at South Tyneside General Hospital forcing young people who need longer periods of inpatient care to go to Sunderland Royal or the Great North Children's Hospital in Newcastle.
  • April: A new Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) was officially opened at South Tyneside District Hospital, effectively relocating the existing unit into a new ultra-modern facility on the ground floor of the maternity block.
  • November: South Tyneside  Clinical Commissioning Group  announce a decision to close the Jarrow walk-in centre at Palmer Community Hospital. This also included a GP practice with a registration of 900 patients. Local people were very angry and confused as to why the CCG would want to close a service helping 27-thousand people a year, and replace it with an Urgent Care Hub at South Tyneside District Hospital? The CCG predict savings of £2-million a year.
  • February: South Tyneside Council and MP Stephen Hepburn wrote to the then Secretary of State for Health,  Jeremy Hunt , asking him to overturn the South Tyneside  Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)  decision to close the Jarrow walk-in centre. The request was stopped by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel who ruled that the plan to close the Walk-in centre did not warrant a full review by the Health Secretary.
  • March: Save Jarrow walk-in centre campaign organises a demonstration.
  • July: South Tyneside  Health and Wellbeing Board  are shown plans by South Tyneside CCG to publicise free consultations and advice available from pharmacists. The scheme called Think Pharmacy First dovetails nicely with long-held government and  NHS England  plans to reduce GP practices as restated in the  NHS Long Term Plan .
  • August: City Hospitals Sunderland  Foundation Trust  (CHSFT) predict that they will be £17.3-million in deficit by the end of the financial year.  Monitor  intervenes to insist the Trust produces a plan to make  efficiency savings , and warns that if it does not comply Board members will be replaced. Since 2012 CHSFT had already reduced their spending on health services by £35-million a year.
  • August: Save Jarrow walk-in centre campaign organises a bed push march and rally.
  • October: Jarrow walk-in centre is closed despite 18 month protest and 3,204 signatures gathered on a petition.
City Hospitals Sunderland Foundation Trusts has 836 acute beds, an annual income of £336.37-million, assets of £204.96-million and employs 5,119 people.
  • March: South Tyneside and Sunderland health service bosses announce plans to end the duplication of some services between the two boroughs, and announce plans for an alliance called the South Tyneside and Sunderland Health Care Group.
  • March: South Tyneside  Foundation Trust  state that It is our intention to maintain an accident and emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital, with emergency care consultants on site.
  • April: Campaigners organise a walk from South Tyneside Hospital to Sunderland Royal Hospital in protest of the alliance, warning it is likely to be a merger and lead to downgrading of acute services at South Tyneside hospital. South Tyneside  Clinical Commissioning Group  state: There are no plans to close A&E services at South Tyneside. We are told service reconfigurations will see South Tyneside lead on  community services .
  • May: The Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign is founded.
  • September: South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland Foundation Trust announce plans to temporarily close acute stoke services at South Tyneside District Hospital.
  • October: The Chief Executive of South Tyneside Foundation Trust - Steve Williamson - leaves his post, which is then taken over by the Chief Executive of City Hospitals Sunderland Foundation Trust - Ken Bremner - making him the Chief Executive of both Trusts.
  • October: The Joint Health Health Scrutiny Committee is formed.
  • November: The Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign sent a letter to both South Tyneside and Sunderland; Foundation Trusts,  Clinical Commissioning Groups ,  Health and Wellbeing Boards  and to council leaders calling on them to publish the secretive  Sustainability and Transformation Plan  covering our area. The draft NTWND STP is promptly published the same month.
  • July: Details are release of a public consultation for phase-1 of the  Path to Excellence , these include potential plans to permanently close acute stroke services at South Tyneside, and to downgrade other acute services including maternity and children's services.
  • July: Emma Lewell-Buck (MP for South Shields) reports at a public meeting that clinicians and staff at South Tyneside Hospital have contacted her to warn that they have not been included in the consultation.
  • September: Emma Lewell-Buck says I have also been told by a former Chief Executive that South Tyneside will become a cottage hospital and that he couldn't guarantee an A&E.
  • October: Plans to close beds at Rothbury Community Hospital are suspended after the decision is referred to the Secretary of State for Health.
  • December: Maternity services at South Tyneside Hospital are closed, causing births at South Tyneside to be suspended. Hospital staff responded under their own initiative to devise a rota giving the Trust no excuse to close the unit. A midwife said This is completely unnecessary and we don't understand why a decision has been made to close a vital asset to a community which could safely remain functional.
  • January: Maternity services at South Tyneside Hospital are re-opened thanks to the efforts of the staff.
  • January: South Tyneside Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland Foundation Trust begin talking of a merger as part of their strategy to make  efficiency savings .
  • January: Keep Our NHS Public - Sunderland and District branch is formed.
  • March: The Joint Health Scrutiny Committee says it will refer South Tyneside and Sunderland  Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)  decisions on phase-1 of the  Path to Excellence  to the Secretary of State for Health.
  • May: Lawyers instructed by the Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign apply to take the CCG to court on the grounds of a flawed consultation.
  • May: Sunderland CCG quietly start a consultation (to run until August) to close down the urgent care / walk-in centres at Bunny Hill, Washington and Houghton - leaving only Pallion. Since the closure of the Jarrow walk-in centre, Bunny Hill has been the only remaining walk-in centre within reasonable distance of people in South Tyneside.
  • July: Consultation begins on the planned merger of South Tyneside and Sunderland  Foundation Trusts .
  • December: A court hearing challenging the validity of the Path to Excellence phase-1 consultation was held at the administrative court in Leeds. The case lasted 3 days. The judge found in favour of the CCG.
  • South Tyneside Hospital has a £13-million backlog of repairs.
  • Private consultants have been paid almost £450-thousand as part of the re-disorganisation of health services in the North East.
  • January: St Clare's Hospice, which has provided palliative care to the people of South Tyneside for 30 years, is closed and the assets put up for sale.
  • January: Sunderland  Clinical Commissioning Group  announces its decision following the consultation in 2018, to close all walk-in centres except for the one at Pallion. GP services at Houghton, Washington, Southwick, Riverside and Bunnyhill will have extended hours, with the changes to take affect in April.
  • January:

    SSTHC learns of the development of an  Integrated Care System (ICS)  called The Northern Region Integrated Health System, which includes South Tyneside and Sunderland.

    The area covered by this ICS is larger than the original footprint defined by the NTWND STP. The extended area includes North Cumbria and everywhere down the east side from Northumberland to North Yorkshire, incorporating a total of 12 Clinical Commissioning Groups.

    A Regional Health Scrutiny Committee has been set up, which comprises three representatives from every local council included in the ICS footprint.

    The proposed merger of South Tyneside and City Hospitals Sunderland  Foundation Trusts  was integral to the local  Sustainability and Transformation Plan .

    6 leaders of the Northern Region Integrated Health System have been chosen undemocratically by  NHS England  with the help of consultants  PricewaterhouseCoopers .
  • April: On April 1st, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust was formed following the merger of City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust. Also see  Efficiency Savings .
  • May: In a staff briefing (a video recording of which was put on the hospital's internal website - only accessible to staff), Ken Bremner CEO of the newly merged hospital Trust stated that they are seeking £50-million from our local councils (£35-million from South Tyneside and £15-million from Sunderland) to finance phase-2 of the  Path to Excellence . Ken Bremner has stated that this is in response to NHS England's decision to not supply funding for phase-2 of the plans (is was suggested that this is because NHS England have other priorities such as funding the completion of the Royal Liverpool Hospital following the failure of the criminal corporation  Carillion  in 2018).
  • June: South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust began announcing that from Monday 5th August 2019 children's A&E services will be closed during the night (from 10pm to 8am) at South Tyneside Hospital.
  • August: On August 5th South Tyneside Hospital lost its 24/7 children's A&E, its full maternity service, and its Special Care Baby Unit.
  • January: The year starts with a report in the guardian highlighting the impact of continued service downgrading and bed closures at Sunderland Royal and South Tyneside Hospital.