A NUMBER of hospital-based services have been improved over the past year leading a senior councillor to call for more services to be maintained.
Bosses at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have outlined improvements to services at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, in Holdforth Road.
They include more patients from Hartlepool and East Durham being given the choice to have a flexible cystoscopy, a procedure used to look inside the bladder with a special telescope, closer to home with extra procedures at Hartlepool hospital.
Since January last year, two extra hand surgery lists have also been provided which means about 300 patients per year from the area can now choose to have their hand procedure in town.
An extra endoscopy room was opened last year in the Rutherford Morrison Unit at the hospital as part of a government initiative on bowel cancer awareness and screening.
Meanwhile, the Trust has also improved cardiology provision in a purpose-built area in response to increasing demand, while a purpose-built elderly care rehabilitation day unit has been developed within the main hospital site.
There has also been improvements to therapy services.
Last February, representatives from the Trust presented the planned service enhancements and an update report was recently given to Hartlepool Borough Council’s health scrutiny forum.
A Trust report said: “It is hoped that this progress report has demonstrated the Trust’s commitment to enhancing services in the University Hospital of Hartlepool to benefit the local population.”
It comes, however, at a time when several outpatient services are to be transferred from the Holdforth Road hospital to One Life Hartlepool, in Park Road, in time for August.
That led to hospital campaigners and councillors questioning the viability of the current hospital ahead of a planned £300m hospital at Wynyard.
Forum chair, Labour chairman, Stephen Akers-Belcher, said he wanted to see more reports coming to the forum about services being enhanced at the hospital.
He added: “We need to make sure that services are maintained until the time, if the new hospital, is built.”