I know a lot of people have been waiting for the moment when we can take another important step on the way to the new hospital. Of course we do know that the financial environment is very difficult and we are mindful of that.
The review has reminded us that the situation is extremely challenging. However we have a proven track record of high performance, high quality and financial control and we have every intention of continuing performing in this way in the years to come. We do this cautiously but optimistically."
It is significant to reach yet another important milestone in the programme. People are living longer, often with a number of chronic health conditions.
Transforming services by encouraging people to take up opportunities for screening, intervening early when people are starting to have health problems rather than waiting until people are so ill that they need to come into hospital, improving pre and post operative care so that people do not have to stay in hospital for long periods; these are all things which will lead to the type of healthcare we will need for future generations."
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A look ahead at a lively start to the weekend
2,000 children from more than 100 primary schools flocked to Sandhaven at South Shields for the annual Sandcastle Challenge.
Sunderland is set to welcome the world famous Tall Ships race in July 2018. Now, it has been given the honour of starting the race.