Call for vote of no confidence

Jean Basey organiser of a march in protest at closure of Hartlepool hospital A&E department. Pictured with Keith Fisher, of Save Our Hospital campaign, at bottom of York Road ramp where march will start.

Jean Basey organiser of a march in protest at closure of Hartlepool hospital A&E department. Pictured with Keith Fisher, of Save Our Hospital campaign, at bottom of York Road ramp where march will start.

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HOSPITAL campaigners are calling on councillors to support a vote of no confidence in health bosses after the closure of the A&E department.

Keith Fisher, chair of the Save Our Hospital group, is hoping councillors support his pleas for a vote against North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

He hopes to get the support of members at the next meeting of full council.

The A&E department at the University Hospital of Hartlepool closed its doors on August 2, and the majority of patients are now being treated at One Life Hartlepool, in Park Road.

The changes are part of the Momentum: Pathways to Healthcare programme being led by the Trust.

Mr Fisher said the idea of a vote was first raised at the recent rally held in Victory Square, off Victoria Road, which saw 600 people protest against the closure.

He added that he is currently going through the correct channels at the council to see if it is possible for a vote of no confidence to be put to councillors.

Civic chiefs have confirmed that members of the public cannot propose a motion and that it would have to come from a councillor.

Last week councillors unanimously backed a motion opposing any more services being removed from the Holdforth Road site until a new hospital is up-and-running.

Mr Fisher said: “I am responding to the request from members of the public who were present at the recent rally.

“Having heard what the council said last week I am convinced that they are opposed to the closure, and considering that the Trust has still gone ahead with it, perhaps they would join me in supporting this resolution.

“I am determined to do this in the correct manner.

“This has to be a wake-up call if nothing else.

“I do sincerely believe that the general public has no confidence in them.”

It was also agreed at the meeting last week to hold an extraordinary meeting of the full council within the next five weeks to discuss the loss of hospital-based A&E services.

A date has yet to be set.

A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council confirmed that members of the public cannot propose motions to be considered at a meeting of the full council.

Motions can only be put forward by councillors.

Health chiefs have previously said that A&E services at the hospital could not continue due to training requirements of junior doctors and health and safety reasons.

A spokeswoman for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our first responsibility is to provide safe and high quality care for patients and we would hope to be judged on that.”