Expert rules out return of Hartlepool hospital A&E services

The University Hospital of Hartlepool
The University Hospital of Hartlepool

The expert called in to review Hartlepool’s health provision has ruled out bringing the accident and emergency department back to the town’s hospital.

Professor David Colin-Thome has called for more planned surgey at The University Hospital of Hartlepool and other changes.

The A&E Department at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

The A&E Department at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

But the chairman of the Local Health and Social Care Plan Working Group says the current set-up - with A&E at North Tees Hospital in Stockton and acute services at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough - should remain.

The findings were released at a public meeting in Hartlepool on Monday evening.

His report says: “The operating model has to see most services provided in Hartlepool, with specialist acute services in hospitals outside Hartlepool to ensure the best possible outcome for patients.”

In his report, Prof Colin-Thome advocates exploring options which would increase the level of planned surgery at the Hartlepool Hospital site.

Professor David Colin-Thom�.

Professor David Colin-Thom�.

He also calls for the existing minor injuries unit, GP out-of-hours cover and walk-in centre services to be integrated.

The report was presented at a meeting at Hartlepool College of Further Education.

Professor David Colin-Thomé was appointed last year to lead the Local Health and Social Care Working Group to identify priorities for the future provision of services within the town.

Among the other recommendations were:

The University Hospital of Hartlepool

The University Hospital of Hartlepool

* Further integration of health and social care services during and outside normal working hours.

* Maintaining a fully functional ONe Life Centre scheduled care. (Non urgent and non emergency.)

* Regularly audit children’s admissions to hospital with particular reference to length of stay and costs.

* Move services out of hospitals to be delivered in a community setting.

Members of Fighting 4 Hartlepool Hospital outside the hospital in Holdforth Road, Hartlepool.

Members of Fighting 4 Hartlepool Hospital outside the hospital in Holdforth Road, Hartlepool.

* Integrate community, local authority and hospital services wih general practice.

After the meeting, Prof Colin-Thome said: “The health of people in Hartlepool could be better.

“This is a new care model for Hartlepool which would see more services delivered in community settings than they are now.

“It would move services out of hospital into a community setting and it would work closer with community pharmacies, GPS and the local hospitals.

“It would provide capacity in the right part of the system with a trained and competent workforce.

“It would integrate the community, local authority and hospital services with general practice.”

He added: “People are going to North Tees for a lot of things they don’t need to, and I think that needs to get back into Hartlepool.

“Local people are getting back control of most of their services, as the majority of stuff can be done locally, with health and social care working together.”

At the meeting Gill Alexander, Hartlepool Borough Council’s chief executive, agreed that although the model aims to deliver the majority of services locally, some treatment would need to go to hospitals outside the town.

She said: “We need services in the community which are more joined up, but some specialist services need to be provided outside the town because the volume of people who need the services won’t be justified.”

A spokesman from Hartlepool Borough Council said on the model: “Professor David Colin-Thomé, the independent chair of the Local Health and Social Care Plan Working Group, delivered his findings and recommendations to the group at a meeting on Monday evening.

“Professor Thome’s report will now be fully considered by the council in due course.”

The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust was unable to comment.

The full report will be presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board on October 17, the Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body on October 25 and Hartlepool Council on October 27.