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Shuttle service confirmed for relatives visiting loved ones at new Northumbria hospital

Thursday, 14 May, 2015
Shuttle service confirmed for relatives visiting loved ones at new Northumbria hospital

A new shuttle service for people without their own transport to visit loved ones receiving care in the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, has been confirmed this week by hospital bosses.

Once the new Northumbria hospital opens next month, a free daily service will run from all three of its general hospitals in Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck to the new hospital site in Cramlington.

The free service will leave from outside the main entrances at North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals to arrive for visiting hours at the new Northumbria hospital and will make return trips to North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals after visiting. 

For those visiting from Hexham, the trust’s existing free daily car service will also visit the new Northumbria hospital in Cramlington, making sure relatives can arrive for visiting time and return home afterwards.  Relatives from Hexham should book this service by contacting switchboard on 0344 811 8111 and asking for extension 5388.

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 back to a general or community hospital for any necessary ongoing hospital care, or will be discharged safely home.

Dr Chris Biggin, clinical director for emergency care at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Most emergency patients will not stay very long in our new hospital.  Once we have stabilised their condition, we will safely transfer them back to their nearest general or community hospital to be near their loved ones whilst they receive ongoing care.  Some patients may be discharged straight home or to another care setting.

“Whilst patients are with us in Cramlington we want to make visiting as easy as possible for their nearest and dearest and our new shuttle service will make this much easier for those without their own transport.”

For those visiting loved ones and travelling by car to the new Northumbria hospital, the Trust has also confirmed this week the car parking charge at the Cramlington site will be set as a flat rate of £1.00 per day.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust also runs a free daily car service Monday to Friday from Berwick Infirmary which will also incorporate the new Northumbria hospital in Cramlington once it opens next month.  Relatives from Berwick can book this service by calling 01289 356601.

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.