STRUCTURE: Professionals and representatives of Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust and the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust are publicly disputing the case for a proposed new hospital.

Northumbria foundation trust, whose services are in the neighbouring area to those of Newcastle FT, has been proposing a reconfiguration which would include a new hospital focused on emergency care for two years.

In a letter to the Northumberland Gazette this month, 71 Newcastle FT clinicians - mainly doctors - say they oppose the new hospital.

They say there is, “mixed opinion… as to whether there was clear evidence that this venture would turn out to be in the public interest and would represent the best use of public sector funding in these financially straitened times”. However, senior clinicians linked to Northumbria have also defended the plan to the newspaper.