As our campaign has gathered momentum we have had (and hope to continue to have) support from our two local MPs: Emma Lewell-Buck and Stephen Hepburn.
We have had amazing support from some local councillors and we thank them very much indeed. Most councillors are sincere and dedicated people, but many are not currently engaging with the Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign. They are probably unaware of the significance of our rapidly diminishing local health services and the obvious harmful implications for the people they represent. Several months on from the public meeting organised by MP Emma Lewell-Buck, we think there is still a need for members of the public to bring the plight of local health services (and the NHS) into the scope of local councillors.
If you are pushed for time, then may we suggest that you prioritise writing to your local councillors, otherwise please feel free to keep the pressure up on your local MPs. Let your representatives know that we demand an end to the deliberate destruction of the National Health Service.
There is some guidance (further down the page) on what to write to help you get started, as well as links to a web-based service ('Write To Them') dedicated to helping people write to their representatives. The South Tyneside Council website also has a very useful section for finding all the wards and councillors in South Tyneside.
We encourage you to talk to your councillors in person, (most of them hold regular surgeries - see table below) to ask them not to approve the 'Sustainability and Transformation Plan' (STP) for the 'footprint' that includes Northumbria, Tyne and Wear and North Durham (NTWND). The plan can't proceed without the council's backing. However, massive and deliberate underfunding by the government has effectively placed a gun to the heads of local health trusts and councils, denying them the money they need to maintain services. It will be harmful to allow the government to impose these STPs, and to date (January 2017) over 20 councils have refused to endorse them. Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign has released a document (PDF) to help explain the problems with the NTWND STP, and provide some technical arguments on which it can be rejected. It's a lose-lose situation! Services are being made unsafe by underfunding, but STPs largely address this by implementing a framework for closing services. What we NEED is funding restored to those services. We are asking local councillors not to acquiesce, but to fight this government corruption by refusing to sign the NTWND STP. Local councillors are ordinary members of the public who represent us. If we accept these changes (which possibly amount to the final straw for the NHS) without a fight - despite health professionals speaking out against them, and evidence to demonstrate the corruption underpinning them - what does that say about the state of our society and democracy?
|Ward||Councillors||Surgery Time and Location|
|Beacon and Bents||John Anglin, Audrey McMillan, John Wood||
Saturday 11am-12pm at Ocean Road Community Centre
no surgery during August
|Bede||Fay Cunningham, Lee Hughes, Margaret Peacock||
3nd Thursday of the month 12:30-1:30pm at Perth Green
Last Wednesday of the month 5-6pm at Low Simonside
|Biddick and All Saints||Joe Amar, Olive Punchion, Anne Walsh||
Last Saturday of the month 10am at Chuter Ede C.A. Galsworthy Road, Biddick Hall.
no surgery during August and December
|Boldon Colliery||Joanne Bell, Sandra Duncan, Alison Strike||
Every Tuesday 6pm at the Village Hall next to the ASDA supermarket
no surgery during August and December
|Cleadon and East Boldon||Joan Atkinson, Margaret Meling, David Townsley||
2nd Saturday of the month 10-11am at East Boldon library
There is also a system of 'street surgeries' being used in this ward. Look out for a card through your door from your local councillors asking if you would like meet and discuss any issues.
|Cleadon Park||Alexander Donaldson, James Foreman, Susan Traynor||
1st Saturday of every month 10-11am at Sutton Trust Hall, Prince Edward Road, South Shields
3rd Saturday of every month 10.30-11.30am at Brinkburn CA, Harton Lane, South Shields
|Fellgate and Hedworth||Audrey Huntley, Geraldine Kilgour, Alan Smith||
1st Wednesday of the month (term time only) 5-6pm at Hedworthfield Primary
Last Wednesday of the month 6-7pm at Hedworthfield CA
Last Saturday of the month 10-11am at Calf Close House
|Harton||Robert Dix, Pat Hay, Neil Maxwell||Every Saturday 10-11am at Marsden Road Health and Wellbeing Centre|
|Hebburn North||Adam Ellison, Liz McHugh, Richard Porthouse||
Every second Friday 5-6pm at Community Hall Byron Ave
1st Saturday of the month 10-11am at Hebburn Hub
Every Friday 6-7pm at Hebburn Hub
|Hebburn South||Wilf Flynn, Nancy Maxwell, John McCabe||Every Friday 6-7pm at Hebburn Hub|
|Horsley Hill||Eileen Leask, Iain Malcom, Mark Walsh||Every Saturday 10am-11am at Marsden Road Health and Wellbeing Centre|
|Monkton||Joan Keegan, Alan Kerr, James Sewell||Every Friday 6-7pm at Hebburn Hub|
|Primrose||James Perry, Moira Smith, Kenneth Stephenson||
1st Tuesday of the month 6-7pm
3rd Saturday of the month 9.30-10:30am at Primrose CA
No surgery during August
|Simonside and Rekendyke||Michael Clare, Edward Malcolm, Lynne Proudlock||
Last Saturday of every month 10-11am at Lord Blyton School, Blyton Avenue, Shouth Sheilds
Last Saturday of every month 10-11am at The Cave, Captains Row, South Shields
No surgery during August
|West Park||Norman Dick, Anne Hetherington, Gladys Hobson||Last Saturday of the month 10-11am at Mortimer Community Centre|
|Westoe||Katharine Maxwell, Sheila Stephenson, Allan West||Every fortnight on Saturday 11-12am (starting from Saturday 21st January 2017) at Ede House|
|Whitburn and Marsden||Peter Boyack, Tracey Dixon, Joyce Welsh||
1st Friday of every month 6-7pm at Our Place (former Advice Centre), Wellands Lane, Whitburn
4th Saturday of every month 9.30-10.30am at Whitburn Library, Hedworth Terrace, Whitburn
|Whiteleas||William Brady, Ernest Gibson, Doreen Purvis||No regular surgeries are held in this ward. Councillors do conduct 'walkabouts' around the ward and this is advertised in advance, but the recommended way to get in touch is by phone and email. Councillors are always willing to come and visit you.|
Please personalise your message as it will have more of an impact. Your message does not need to be long, just a few sentences is fine. The following is a sample message / list of key points that you might like to include and edit.
- The alliance between South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland is part of a plan to merge acute services.
- South Tyneside Hospital is facing an immediate threat of loosing acute stroke and maternity services.
- The alliance plans the removal of all acute services to Sunderland, which will mean that South Tyneside Hospital A & E will become non-viable.
- Everyone needing acute health care will have to travel to Sunderland.
- I am concerned about the whole direction in which the NHS is being taken. It is being deliberately and systematically wrecked by fragmentation into purchasers and providers, cut backs and privatisation.
- Please use your position in [Parliament / as an elected representative] to safeguard the future of South Tyneside Hospital and its acute emergency services.
The link below will take you to a free service designed to help people write to their public representatives. Entering your postcode will enable the service to find your MP or Councillors: