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Patient Pamela backs Northumbria hospital as ‘the way to go’

Thursday, 30 July, 2015
Patient Pamela backs Northumbria hospital as ‘the way to go’

As the national NHS spotlight focuses on services being provided seven days a week, a woman from west Northumberland has endorsed the new model of emergency care in the county as ‘the way to go’.

While health secretary Jeremy Hunt was highlighting Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as a national leader in delivering seven-day services, Pamela Dyson, from West Woodburn, was undergoing emergency surgery at the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

Pamela admits she, like others in rural Northumberland, had reservations about the new model of emergency care, however, having experienced it first-hand earlier this month, she is 100 per cent supportive and believes it should be replicated elsewhere.

The Northumbria hospital, which opened in June, treats people from across Northumberland and North Tyneside who are seriously ill or injured. With emergency care consultants on site 24/7, it is at the forefront of new models of care in the NHS. Consultants in a broad range of conditions also offer services seven days a week, speeding up specialist care for patients to help save more lives and maximise chances of survival and a good recovery for more patients.

Earlier this month, Mr Hunt named Northumbria Healthcare in a speech about seven-day working in the NHS as a standard to which other NHS trusts across the country should aspire. 

Pamela, 63, said: “I didn’t really understand why the new Northumbria hospital was different, however, having found myself in an emergency situation and taken there by ambulance, I now fully appreciate why it’s been done and have total admiration for the clinical teams who’ve made the changes.

“All the staff knew exactly what they were doing and just went into action. Everything I needed was there – scanners, equipment, specialist surgical teams, consultants – and thank God they were.

“Having seen it all work so well and so slick, I have no doubt that this is the way to go. You never know when you might find yourself or your loved one in an emergency situation but to know that we now have this expert facility with consultants there round the clock seven days is hugely reassuring.”

Following the surgery, Pamela needed intervention by the specialist cardiology team at the hospital – again everything was on hand for her to receive the highest standards of care, right there and then.

“It was a very streamlined service,” she said. “This way of working where specialist help is available when patients need it, is going to save a lot of lives.

“You never know when you’re going to need this service and people across Northumberland should be thankful that it is available for us.”

Pamela is a great supporter of her local hospital at Hexham, and had been treated there six weeks prior to her operation, however, is a firm believer that in an emergency situation, it is much better to be in a specialist centre where the right people with the right skills are available.

Urgent care for less serious conditions is still provided at 24-hour walk-in services at Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals with these sites becoming centres of excellence for planned and on-going care.