Proposals for major changes to NHS services in Northumberland and North Tyneside have been put out for public consultation until July 28.

Plans centre on a new specialist emergency care hospital, improvements to Wansbeck and North Tyneside general hospitals and rebuilding community hospitals in Berwick and Haltwhistle.

Anyone needing emergency treatment would be taken to the new hospital off the A19, close to the A1, instead of to Wansbeck, North Tyneside or Hexham.

NHS North of Tyne spokeswoman Lyn Dixon said: “The new hospital would enable Northumbria Healthcare to bring together a substantial team of specialists on one site.

“Patients would be seen and treated very quickly by a consultant, and after two or three days would be either sent home or transferred to the general hospital nearest to where they live.

“The views of local people are really important, and we need to take them into consideration before deciding whether or not to support these proposals.”