Councillors’ anger as health chiefs fail to supply breakdown of services still at Hartlepool hospital

The University Hospital of Hartlepool
The University Hospital of Hartlepool

ANGRY councillors say they are disappointed health chiefs still haven’t supplied them with a breakdown of services still running at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s audit and governance committee requested the information from the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust at the start of last December but at a recent meeting revealed they are still waiting for a response.

Keith Fisher

Keith Fisher

The committee, chaired by independent councillor Keith Fisher, expressed their “disappointment” in the delay but health bosses have confirmed the information will be supplied within the week.

Labour councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher said: “We are disappointed at the time that it has taken. We want to know if there is a genuine reason for the delay or if it is a lack of willingness to co-operate.”

Coun Fisher said it questions the “validity” of the scrutiny process, if organisations do not respond to requests from the committee.

The request for information about which wards and buildings were in use came during a meeting when representatives from the Trust and the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group presented an update on work to relocate some outpatient services from the Holdforth Road site into the One Life Centre, in Park Road.

Coun Fisher added: “If people do not reply with answers then it questions the whole point and validity of scrutiny.

“I’m not impressed by this.”

A Trust spokeswoman told the Mail: “Following the meeting where both the site plan was requested and issues were raised concerning security on the University Hospital of Hartlepool site, we responded on measures taken to review and enhance security.

“We were also happy to confirm that no-one accessed the ward areas or used the showers as had been suggested.

“We also advised the council that a response to the request for plans showing which services are now available would be provided as soon as possible.

“The centralisation of critical care and emergency medical services had a knock on effect to a number of support services and these changes needed to be planned before we would be in a position to do this.

“This information will be sent to the council within the next week.”