Hartlepool fertility staff given temporary reprieve as redundancy talks are suspended

University Hospital of Hartlepool.

University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Staff under fire in the threatened Assisted Reproduction Unit at Hartlepool Hospital have been told that redundancy talks have been put on hold until a High Court decision is made on its future viability.

Unison regional manager Mike Hill said: “In response to pressure from Unison and in light of the recent High Court determination, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has informed staff that redundancy talks have been put on hold until after the judicial review in April.

"Of course this is just a pause in consultations and a million miles away from our demands to rescind the threat of redundancies altogether in light of our arguments that the unit remains safe and viable, but it is a step in the right direction and a victory for common sense.

"Importantly, this decision has also reversed the policy of informing patients of the imminent closure of the unit, which hopefully will be of some comfort to them but is not likely to put an end to the confusion over the future of the service.”

Meanwhile, Hartlepool Borough Council will discuss measures to try and halt the closure at a meeting tonight.