Is new hospital necessary?

IT appears that a new hospital is now set to be built near High Pit, East Cramlington, close to the Annitsford/Moor Farm A19 intersection.

This proposal was consulted upon some two years ago.

Mixed opinion emerged as to whether there was clear evidence that this venture would turn out to be in the public interest and would represent the best use of public sector funding in these financially straitened times.

It is claimed that the purpose of the development is to provide a ‘specialised emergency care hospital, one of the first of its kind in the country’.

Oddly enough, that is what the new infrastructure at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, less than eight miles from this site in Newcastle, now provides.

Not only does the RVI provide emergency care across the whole spectrum of medical and surgical disciplines for both adults and children but it is also supported by a complete spectrum of subspecialties, many of which will not be available at Cramlington.

As long-established and competent healthcare professionals we are already on the public record as doubting the wisdom of and the case of need for siting a facility of this size and function in such a location, particularly in such challenging economic times.

The fixed running costs of this new hospital and the additional ambulance costs associated with it are said not to be an issue which, given the necessary financial stringencies that have been imposed across the public sector, we find difficult to understand.

We are aware that Simon Burns MP, Minister of State for Health, has requested the North East Strategic Health Authority to look again at how this new, one-off, specialist hospital fits in with already well-established health services north of the River Tyne. This good governance initiative is welcomed and we shall, if invited to do so, be pleased to contribute to the debate and express our views.

In common with the Council of Governors of the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust we support fully-informed professional assessment of the risks and benefits of any such investment.

Dr TJ Walls, Medical Director and Consultant Neurologist,

Dr Sheila Macphail, Assistant Medical Director and Consultant in Obstetrics and Fetal Medicine,

Professor Alistair Burt, Dean of Clinical Medicine and Consultant and Professor of Pathology,

Mr Bas, Sen Clinical Director Emergency Department,

Dr Steve Parry, Clinical Director Internal Medicine/Care of the Elderly,

Dr Peter Jones, Head of General Paediatrics/ Community Services and Consultant Paediatrician,

Professor Peter Thomson, Clinical Director, Dental Services and Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon,

Mr Richard Milner, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon,

Dr Alistair Gascoigne, Assistant Medical Director and Consultant Physician and Intensivist,

Mr Neil Watson, Director of Pharmacy,

Dr Janet McLelland, Clinical Director, Plastics, Ophthalmology and ermatology and Consultant Dermatologist,

Mr Richard Bliss, Clinical Director, Surgical Services and Consultant Surgeon,

Mr Thasee Pillay, Clinical Director, Cardiothoracic Surgical Services and Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon,

Dr John Hanley, Clinical Director, Cancer Services and Clinical Haematology and Consultant Haematologist,

Dr Nicholas Thompson, Assistant Medical Director and Consultant Physician,

Dr Dermot Neely, Consultant Clinical Biochemist,

Dr Lesley Kay, Clinical Director, Musculoskeletal Services and Consultant Rheumatologist,

Dr Andrew Chippindale Clinical Director, Radiology and Imaging and Consultant Radiologist,

Dr John Tapson, Clinical Director, Renal Services and Consultant Nephrologist,

Dr Stephen Sturgiss, Clinical Director, Women’s Services and Consultant in Obstetrics and Fetal Medicine,

Dr Will Wight, Clinical Director, Perioperative and Critical Care Services (RVI) and Consultant Anaesthetist,

Dr Karen Beacham, Clinical Director, Perioperative and Critical Care Services (Freeman Hospital) and Consultant Anaesthetist,

Professor Andrew Cant, Clinical Director, Children’s Services and Consultant Paediatrician,

Dr Anil Gholkar Clinical Director, Neurosciences and Consultant Neuroradiologist,

Professor David Deehan, Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Specialist,

Professor Chris Day, Pro Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Medical Sciences and Consultant Hepatologist,

Mr Andy Welch, Assistant Medical Director and Consultant Otolaryngologist,

Mr John Crossman, Head of Neurosurgery and Consultant Neurosurgeon,

Dr Mark Hudson, Chair of the Freeman Hospital Consultant Staff Committee and Consultant Physician,

Mr Hugh Gallagher, Chair of the RVI Consultant Staff Committee and Consultant Surgeon,

Professor Mike Griffin, Professor of Gastrointestinal Surgery,

Dr Tony Branson, Radiotherapy Head of Service and Consultant Clinical Oncologist,

Mr Peter Hodgkinson, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon,

Mr Naeem Soomro, Consultant Urologist and Head of Department,

Dr Chris O’Brien, Consultant Paediatrician and Specialist in Respiratory Paediatrics,

Dr David Spencer, Consultant Paediatrician and Specialist in Respiratory, Paediatrics,

Mr Mike Clarke, Consultant Ophthalmologist,

Mr Jonathan Forty, Assistant Medical Director and Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon,

Dr Michael Wright,Assistant Medical Director and Consultant Clinical Geneticist,

Dr Ian Purcell, Clinical Director Cardiology/Respiratory Medicine and Consultant Cardiologist,

Mr Andrew Gray, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Traumatologist,

Dr Chris Callicott, Clinical Director Regional Medical Physics Service,

Dr Jonathan Wallis, Clinical Director Laboratory Medicine and Consultant Haematologist,

Dr Petros Perros, Consultant Physician,

Dr Christian Dipper, Consultant Physician,

Professor Peter Bain, Honorary Consultant Physician,

Dr Stuart McPherson, Consultant Physician,

Dr Simon Thomas, Consultant Physician,

Dr Hilary Wynne, Consultant Physician and Elderly Care Specialist,

Professor Andrew McCaskie, Professor of Trauma and Orthopaedic,Surgery and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon,

Mr Paul Stuart, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Trauma Specialist,

Dr Chris Record, Consultant Physician,

Mr Paul Fearon, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon,

Mr Nigel Brewster, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon,

Mr Craig Gerrand, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon,

Dr John Mansfield, Consultant Physician,

Mr David Weir, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon,

Mr Matthew Cadamy, Emergency Department Consultant and Head of Department,

Mr J Connolly, Emergency Department Consultant,

Dr John Wrigh,t Emergency Department Consultant,

Mrs Sarah Pape, Consultant Burns and Plastics Surgeon,

Dr Richard Quinton, Consultant Physician,

Mr Jim Holland, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon.