A NEW hospital unit has been opened as part of £2m worth of improvements intended to cut waiting times for patients.
Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell was on hand to cut the ribbon to mark the opening of a new £1m endoscopy department at North Tyneside General Hospital.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust hopes its new diagnostic equipment will slash the amount of time patients worried about stomach and bowel problems have to spend waiting for investigative procedures.
And the trust has spent an extra £1m on extending and refurbishing the treatment rooms at the North Shields hospital, which deal with nearly 8,000 patients a year.
Sister Sandra Marshall said: “Waiting for tests can be an anxious time for patients and their families.
“This extra capacity will mean that patients will be able to undergo these diagnostic tests sooner, which we hope will help alleviate some of their anxiety.
“The unit is now light and modern, making it a more pleasant working environment for our staff.”