Published on: 25 October 2019
NHS leaders in South Tyneside have today issued an important reminder for patients and the public about how to access emergency care services for children overnight.
Following vital changes made to children’s emergency care in August this year, the NHS is keen to reassure the local community that robust arrangements are in place with the North East Ambulance Service for any children who need overnight emergency care to be transported to Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Extra ambulance capacity has been put in place for this very purpose and, in the unlikely instance that a child does arrive at South Tyneside District Hospital after 10pm who needs urgent transfer to Sunderland Royal Hospital, arrangements are also in place with the North East Ambulance Service to support this.
The message to parents and carers in South Tyneside is very clear. If they are worried about their child after 10pm at night they should call NHS 111 for urgent medical advice or call 999 for an emergency ambulance. Parents/carers will be advised of the most appropriate course of action by a trained medical professional on ringing 111 or 999 and if necessary, an emergency ambulance will be dispatched.
The reminder comes following significant concerns about an unauthorised community transport service. The NHS is very clear that parents and carers should always call NHS 111, or indeed 999, if they are worried about their child.
Jeanette Scott, Executive Director of Nursing and Quality at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The safety and welfare of children in South Tyneside is our prime concern and it is important that people follow NHS advice if they are worried about their child overnight. Our message is simple, please use the NHS 111 service or dial 999 in an emergency situation.
“Extra ambulance capacity is in place to ensure the safe transport of children overnight from South Tyneside to Sunderland Royal Hospital and this has been working very well since we made the changes to children’s emergency care services in August.”
The children’s emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital closes every night at 10pm and reopens every morning at 8am. Overnight emergency care for children up to the age of 16 is provided from the Children’s Emergency Department at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
The children’s emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital remains open every day from 8am until 10pm.
The new model of children’s emergency care means that children from South Tyneside who need emergency hospital treatment during the night will now have equal access to specialist consultant-led emergency paediatric care 24/7.