Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt highlights patient safety agenda at visit to South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trusts

Published: 29th September 2017

The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt visited South Tyneside and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trusts today to talk about patient safety and hear about the work going on to improve the quality of care delivered to patients.

During meetings with staff at both trusts, Mr Hunt talked about the need to have the right number of doctors and nurses to improve patient care and outlined the need for transparency, openness and sharing of information and best practice between trusts across the country.

He was accompanied Dr Mike Durkin, who recently retired from his role as National Director of Patient Safety at NHS Improvement and held a question and answer session with staff.

The Health Secretary then had a tour of the new state-of-the-art emergency department at Sunderland Royal Hospital and heard from staff about the revolutionary technology which is improving patient safety. The new emergency department is now completely paper-free at the point of care and uses technology that can move around with the patient meaning clinical teams always have the most up-to-date clinical information.

Only last week, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust was announced as a ‘fast follower’ in the ‘global digital exemplar’ programme. This will see millions invested to improve the digital systems in place at South Tyneside District Hospital to improve patient care and safety and learn from the excellent work already taking place in Sunderland.

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt said: “It was fantastic to meet with staff at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital and hear about the innovative work taking place to improve patient safety. City Hospitals Sunderland is already delivering world-class care using digital technology and it was great to see this in action in the new paper-free emergency department.”

Ken Bremner, Chief Executive of City Hospitals Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trusts said: “We were delighted to welcome the Secretary of State for Health to visit our staff in South Tyneside and Sunderland. Patient safety is at the absolute heart of everything we do everyday across both of our organisations and it was great to share the work we are doing locally to continue to improve and deliver the highest quality of safe patient care to the people we serve.”