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Jim gets on his bike to promote cycling routes to new Northumbria hospital

Thursday, 11 June, 2015
Jim gets on his bike to promote cycling routes to new Northumbria hospital

The chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has taken to two wheels to promote cycle routes to the country’s first purpose-built hospital dedicated emergency care which opens in Northumberland on 16 June.

Jim Mackey cycled from North Tyneside General Hospital in North Shields to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington to raise awareness of sustainable transport methods for the public and staff at the trust.

Jim, an experienced cyclist, chose the on-road route through Monkseaton, Holywell and Seaton Delaval, a distance of just over six miles. However, people can opt for a quieter route along residential streets and the traffic-free wagonways.

There are more than 100 bike racks at the new Northumbria hospital for the public and staff and information about cycle routes, public transport and the shuttle bus from the trust’s general hospitals is available online at

Jim said: “As a trust, we’re keen to promote sustainable forms of transport to our staff and the wider public and cycling is a great way of being active while doing your bit for the environment too.

“I really enjoyed the ride and I was genuinely surprised how quick the journey was.  While we appreciate that not everyone will be able to do this, for those who can, it’s an excellent way of incorporating exercise into your everyday lives and helps to cut down on our car usage.

“Our teams have done a great job of making this as easy as possible with easy-to-follow routes and plenty of bike racks and showers for staff to use when they get to the hospital.”

Jim was joined on the cycle ride by Sathish Sethuraman, the trust’s travel plan coordinator, and Karl McCracken, from sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

Karl said: “Walking or cycling to the new hospital is easy – it’s right next to Cramlington’s network of traffic-free routes

“This is a brilliant way to build activity into every day, with huge benefits for health and feelings of wellbeing. Not only that, but you never get stuck in traffic!

“People wanting to get to the new Northumbria hospital can follow Jim’s example and download the Sustrans route guides and maps that are available on the trust’s website.”

When the new Northumbria hospital opens at 6am on Tuesday 16 June, it will treat patients from across Northumberland and North Tyneside who are seriously ill or injured, ensuring they 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.

The new model of care 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.