A new Hartlepool hospital campaign group reached out to the community and councillors for support.
The group called Fighting for Hartlepool Hospital has been set up to try to help bring services back to the University of Hartlepool.
It was about making ourselves known and getting the ball rollingGlen Hughes, Fighting for Hartlepool Hospital
Several services, including accident and emergency, critical care and part of maternity services, have been moved in recent years to the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.
Several Hartlepool councillors and members of the public attended the informal drop-in session at Cafe 177 in York Road yesterday.
It was organised to discuss ideas with the campaigners for how to make the campaign most effective.
Glen Hughes, of Fighting for Hartlepool Hospital, said the event was a success.
He said: “It was about making ourselves known and getting the ball rolling and from that point of view it was a great success.
“The councillors who came were quite open and honest and gave some really good suggestions.
“We are hoping to have a meeting with the chief executive of the council. If we can get some partnership working with the council they may be able to open doors we don’t have access to.
“It is very early days but I think it was a good start.”
Keith Fisher, who a member of the original Save Hartlepool Hospital campaign, attended the event as a guest.
He said: “I will be part of anything that is trying to support our hospital. I think the people we elect should represent us and try to deliver what we want.
“If that is in opposition to what the hospital trust is providing then I expect them to tackle the trust.
“I have always referred to the trust leaders as the untouchables. We, the general public need to find a way to touch them because they are not delivering services the people of Hartlepool and East Durham deserve.”
MP Iain Wright sent a letter to the campaigners saying he was unable to make it due to prior commitments.
The council is leading a process to develop a new Health and Social Care Plan for Hartlepool with health commissioners which aims to give people more choice over where they access hospital services.