Hartlepool residents have reacted angrily to plans proposing a potential downgrading of local hospital services including accident and emergency.
NHS organisations have published a draft version of controversial Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) for the Durham, Darlington, Tees, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby area.
A proposed vision for the year 2020 includes a reorganisation of local hospitals and as it stands would see either Darlington Memorial Hospital or North Tees hospital, in Stockton, lose their A&E department.
Many people have branded the proposals as ‘disgraceful’ and have called for A&E to be returned to Hartlepool.
This is how you reacted:
Jean Hutchinson: “Absolutely disgraceful, how are they getting away with it?”
Donna Wood: “The A&E should definitely be returned to Hartlepool! “Its a disgrace that it was taken away in the first place.”
Charlotte Macgregor: “There should be an A&E at Hartlepool, never mind closing the A&E at North Tees. “Travelling all the way to James Cook will end up costing lives.”
Donna Smith: “Hartlepool A&E saved my daughters life!
“She would never have made it to North Tees.
“Someone will loose their life if they haven’t already!”
Sue Donnelly: “It’s terrible treating people like this when they are ill and need help.
“It should of stayed in Hartlepool.”
Shirley Carruthers: “Return A&E to Hartlepool.”
Katherine Whittingham Igarta: “Apparently Hartlepudlians health is not important to the powers that be.
Violet Swann: “Hartlepool hospital should have A&E it was good hospital until they took it away.”
Debbie Kearns: “How are thet getting away with it?”
Dan Walton: “I speak to many people who have genuine concerns about the state of the hospital service and the lack of funding in the North East, it really is a growing concern.”
Carol Burton: “Why are people shocked, A&E isn’t returning and people need to get used to it.”
Local NHS commissioners say they will work with councils and other partners to deliver the new Sustainability and Transformation Plans, which aim to improve health services for patients.
They said they are in response to being asked by NHS England to come up with improvement plans for their areas, or footprint.
They are prevention of illness and increasing self-care, health and care in communities and neighbourhoods, quality of care in hospitals and using technology to improve diagnosis and treatment, and to make care more convenient.