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Bus service ‘just the ticket’ for new Northumbria hospital

Monday, 08 June, 2015
Bus service ‘just the ticket’ for new Northumbria hospital

A new public bus service which will help people to access Northumberland’s new hospital dedicated to emergency care starts this week, ahead of the facility opening on 16 June.

The new Arriva North East bus service will run from Cramlington town centre to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital and is jointly funded by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council. It will provide quick and regular access for both staff commuting to work and for friends and family visiting loved ones in the new Northumbria hospital.

The C1 service will operate between Cramlington railway station, Manor Walks shops and the hospital’s main entrance every half an hour on weekdays starting Monday 8 June, while two existing services to Holywell and Seaton Sluice, the C2 and C3, will incorporate the new hospital.

There will be a full range of multi-journey tickets available, enabling people to connect with other buses in Cramlington town centre using a single ticket.

The new Arriva service is in addition to the trust’s free daily shuttle service which runs from its general hospitals in North Tyneside, Wansbeck and Hexham to the new hospital.

Sathish Sethuraman, travel plan coordinator at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re pleased that we have been able to work with Arriva North East and Northumberland County Council to bring this new bus service to our Northumbria hospital and have a dedicated bus route from Cramlington town centre.

“Whilst most people will not stay very long in our new hospitaI, it is very important that there is public transport available for people across Northumberland and North Tyneside to visit friends and relatives while they are receiving emergency treatment in the new hospital. Many members of staff who live in Cramlington and commute by bus may also use the new service to get to work.

“Along with our free shuttle service from our general hospitals, the new service means there are many sustainable transport options available which will be of great benefit to people, particularly for those who don’t have access to their own transport.”

Chris Curtis, commercial manager at Arriva North East, said: “We are always looking at ways to improve our network, and it is great to have teamed up with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council to provide a bus service to this important new hospital. We have received a lot of positive feedback about the new service and our dedicated team of drivers are looking forward to welcoming staff and visitors on board the buses.”

Allan Hepple, cabinet member for economic growth with Northumberland County Council, and also a local ward councillor, said: “We are delighted to have been able to help support this new bus service, which will provide an important link between local communities and the new hospital.

“Enabling people to get to this flagship hospital easily, whether they work there or are visiting, is vital, and the fact it is running every half hour means it should be well used.”

For those visiting loved ones and travelling by car to the new Northumbria hospital, there will be a flat car parking rate of £1 per day.

More information about transport options, directions to the new Northumbria hospital and cycle routes is available at

www.northumbria.nhs.uk/emergency/transport-and-parking

The new Northumbria hospital is the result of ten years’ work led by clinical teams at Northumbria Healthcare and will have emergency care consultants physically on site 24/7, as well as specialists in a range of conditions also available seven days a week.  This means patients from across Northumberland and North Tyneside will get to see the right specialist for their condition quickly which will not only save more lives but is widely proven to improve clinical outcomes.

People with less serious conditions, but who still require urgent care, will continue to receive treatment at 24 hour walk-in services at the trust’s general hospitals in Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck.  These walk-in patients are expected to be seen more quickly in the future as staff will not be distracted or called away to treat more serious cases.

Most patients who are seriously ill or injured and who are admitted to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital are not expected to stay for longer than two to three days.  After this time they will be safely transferred to a general or community hospital for any necessary ongoing hospital care, or will be discharged safely home. 

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