England

South Tyneside Hospital's child A&E services reduced

South Tyneside Hospital
Image caption South Tyneside Hospital said the temporary arrangement will be reviewed in two weeks time

An "unexpected" increase in staff sickness at South Tyneside Hospital has temporarily led to the suspension of some of its children's services.

Opening hours have been "reluctantly" restricted in the paediatric accident and emergency department, to ensure the remaining staff are caring for the "vast" majority of children.

The overnight assessment service will not be available for two weeks.

A spokesman for the hospital apologised for the disruption caused.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust's chief operating officer Helen Ray, said: "Fortunately, only a very small number of children access this overnight service and doctors and nursing teams are working closely with our neighbouring hospitals to ensure that there is minimum impact upon the families.

"Parents are advised that, should they need to seek emergency advice overnight, they can attend the departments at Sunderland Royal Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, or Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary."

The department will be open from 08:00 till 22:00 BST for a two-week period when it will then be reviewed.

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