HOSPITAL and community health services in North Tyneside and Northumberland are now under new management.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has taken charge of hospital and community services in the borough and the county.
It will also oversee adult social care services in Northumberland.
Trust officials say that patients using services provided by district nurses, health visitors and social workers, will not notice any immediate change.
However, over time, the changes will mean that the trust can further improve the quality of care it offers.
As part of the transfer of services, staff will join the trust.
Trust chief executive Jim Mackey said: “This is an exciting time for our trust and our staff.
“It is inevitable that these changes will impact on our organisation and how we work. However, we are committed to ensuring we build positively on the already-excellent services delivered across the community and in social care.
“Hospital-based care will no longer be our only focus.
“However, our priority will always be to continue to provide our patients with the best possible care, regardless of whether this is in hospital, in the community or at home.
“Having services and staff under one roof, we will be able to improve communication, streamline processes, reduce duplication of services and improve the discharge of patients from hospital.
“We are also very excited about finding new ways of supporting people in their homes and avoiding hospitalisation where possible.”
The trust has been working with NHS North of Tyne, North Tyneside Primary Care Trust, Northumberland Care Trust, Northumberland Council, GPs and unions to bring the changes into effect.