Published on: 26 May 2023

A doctor who has helped lead healthcare in the community for decades is using his experience improve links between hospital and community healthcare.

Dr Matthew Walmsley, who has been a GP in South Shields for 20 years, will return to where he trained to take on the role of Associate Medical Director for Primary Care.

This is a brand new role for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. It will see Matthew use his vast experience as a GP and as the former Chair of South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group to strengthen relationships between services both in and outside of hospital.

This will include a range of services, including GP surgeries, pharmacies, dental care, hospitals, mental health and eye health working much closer together to ensure patients get the best support possible.

Dr Walmsley has vast experience working in health and care in South Tyneside. As well as his current role as a GP Partner at Marsden Road Health Centre, he has also been a member of South Tyneside Health and Wellbeing Board since 2013.

South Shields GP Dr Matthew Walmsley has joined South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust as its first Associate Director for Primary Care..jpg

Dr Matthew Walmsley outside South Tyneside District Hospital, where he spent time as a junior doctor.

He will continue his work in general practice alongside his new role at the Trust. 

Dr Walmsley, who spent time as a junior doctor at South Tyneside District Hospital, said:

"I think this role will make a real difference to patients. While there are already strong links between the services provided in our hospitals and in our local communities, there is always more that we can do to work together and create a positive experience for patients.

"We want to create a seamless transition for patients coming in and out of hospital. In many cases this is about improving communication. It can also be about strengthening relationships so there is more understanding of all of the people who play an important role in the patient’s care.

"I am excited to join the trust in this new role. We’ve already done a lot of work to improve the ways we work together across our local care system, but we know that we can still do so much more to make services better for the future."

Dr Shaz Wahid, the Trust’s Executive Medical Director, added:

"We are delighted to have Matthew on board as our first Associate Medical Director for Primary Care.

"This is an important role. Having those strong links between healthcare services across South Tyneside, Sunderland and the wider region means we can make sure patients get the right care, in the right place and at the right time."