Plans have been drawn up to create a centre of surgical excellence at a local hospital.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is looking to create the new facility at North Tyneside General Hospital for patients who need planned operations or procedures.
It is part of the trust’s long-term vision to improve facilities at the hospital following the opening of The Northumbria hospital in Cramlington.
Patients requiring less complex orthopaedic procedures can continue to have these at North Tyneside General Hospital.
General surgery for patients who need to stay in hospital overnight, will take place at a new surgical unit at the hospital, where a range of specialist surgical teams will be based.
Day case surgery will continue to take place, with more patients able to have their procedures and go home on the same day.
As part of the developments, improvements have been made to gynaecological services. A new dedicated pregnancy loss unit has been established at North Tyneside General Hospital, giving women and their partners enhanced privacy and dignity.
Dr Eliot Sykes, business unit director for emergency surgery and elective care at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “Since opening The Northumbria we have been working hard with our surgical teams to make sure we deliver on our promise to improve local planned services at Wansbeck and North Tyneside hospitals.
“The improvements taking place mean that more operations and surgical procedures will be done locally and forms part of the vision we laid out several years ago.”
Sarah Robinson, clinical director for emergency surgery and elective care at the trust, said: “Now that we’ve embedded our new system for emergency care, I am very proud to see these improvements which will bring huge benefits for patient care.
“The overwhelming majority – over 70 per cent of the surgical patients we see – come to us for planned operations and we know that coming into hospital for surgery can be daunting. Our priority is always to make sure people have access to the best possible quality of care and that they get home as soon as possible.
“As always, our staff have been at the forefront of delivering these improvements which will bring significant benefits for patients for years to come.”
Northumbria Healthcare carried out over 46,000 planned operations and day cases during 2015/16 across its hospitals in Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck, as well as day case procedures in Alnwick and Berwick.
All ante-natal care will continue to take place locally.