Have a say on service

Health bosses are urging people on Tyneside to speak out about plans to change their local NHS.

Health bosses are urging people on Tyneside to speak out about plans to change their local NHS.

A major consultation exercise is under way on changes to the structures of primary care trusts, strategic health authorities and the ambulance services in the North East.

Members of the public will be able to attend 16 meetings at community venues across the region.

Views of local people and organisations will be used to inform final plans for the future structure of the health service in the area.

The first meeting will take place tomorrow in Chester-le-Street's Civic Centre, at 1.30pm, and the second will be held at Gateshead Civic Centre, from 6pm, on Wednesday.

Other meetings will follow in the next three months.

David Flory, chief executive of County Durham and Tees Valley and Northumberland, Tyne & Wear Strategic Health Authorities, believes the changes will result in a £14m saving for the NHS.

He said: "The changes don't focus on patient services or the day-to-day provision of health care, but on the structure and management of the organisations concerned.

"Before any changes are made, we need to hear from local people."

One of the changes will include merging the two existing strategic health authorities to form one health authority for the North East.

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