Health chiefs have provided fresh assurances that North Tyneside General Hospital has a bright future.
Dr Jeremy Rushmer, executive medical director at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, insists the Rake Lane facility continues to serve the community well.
He said: “North Tyneside General Hospital has been on an exciting journey over the last few years.
“Since we transformed urgent and emergency care in 2015, it has become a centre of excellence for planned and on-going care.
“You only have to walk around the place to sense the energy and enthusiasm of our staff and the volunteers who support them. Energy they most certainly need – the hospital has helped over 150,000 outpatients in the last year with thousands more attending for planned tests and treatments.
“We are constantly looking to improve on what we already have by using our space to enhance the environment and ensure patients’ experiences are the best they can be.”
He said the recent £2.5million investment in endoscopy services put North Tyneside among the best in the NHS, never mind the region.
In addition, new X-ray equipment has arrived, ensuring patients have access to the best digital diagnostics going.
“There is far more to any NHS hospital than just equipment and medicine,” he added. “It is the people, the staff and volunteers alike, who make it what it is. I’m delighted to say that we have recently hired a new ‘falls’ matron whose sole job will be to help make our most vulnerable and frail patients even safer. Having a bit of company at mealtime can feed the soul as well as the body so our new mealtime assistance volunteer (pilot) scheme is fantastic news and without a doubt will make a tangible difference to our patients.
North Tyneside also remains at the heart of our leadership and professional development. It is home to the medical directorate – including new addition Alistair Blair – and so is central to shaping the future direction of the trust. Equally, its education centre and the library are usually buzzing with activity training everyone from medical students and new nurses to junior doctors and consultants.
We’re proud of our hospitals but we know people don’t want to stay longer than they need to! So we have introduced some new processes which allow more patients to go home earlier.
North Tyneside patients, once medically well, are discharged with support from the CARE point team which makes sure they have all the support they need for them to manage at home.
The team are involved prior to, and on the day of, discharge. The team visit the patient at home to discuss hopes and expectations and offer support to help that happen. This takes the form of healthcare support and interventions, rehabilitation and reablement.
Further – extensive – investments are being made to our pharmacy with a new ‘robot’ being installed which will further speed up the time it takes to get patients the medication they need: safely, on time, every time. This when coupled with the new - £800,000 trust wide – automated storage units being installed on every ward means that our nurses will have more time to focus on what they do best: helping patients.
All in all, it’s an exciting time at North Tyneside and we are left very much looking forward to 2018.