Delegation to meet health chiefs over future of Hartlepool hospital

The University Hospital of Hartlepool

The University Hospital of Hartlepool

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A DELEGATION of hospital campaigners who travelled to London to meet a Government minister are set to meet health chiefs tomorrow.

The campaigners, which included Hartlepool MP Iain Wright, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, The Mayor Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, and fellow cross-party councillors, travelled to the capital on Tuesday to meet Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Hunt said he believed politicians in Hartlepool are in the “driving seat” over bringing back the town’s hospital services.

Now Coun Akers-Belcher has contacted the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to arrange a meeting at the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road, Hartlepool, tomorrow.

He is awaiting a response from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust as to when a separate meeting with bosses can be held.

The council leader said: “We have a meeting between the delegation who travelled to London, and the CCG, arranged for Friday.

The University Hospital of Hartlepool

The University Hospital of Hartlepool

“It is to basically give them the feedback on how we can work together on this.

“We need to make arrangements with the trust as well, but it’s about working with the CCG, and getting the trust on board, because it’s the CCG which funds the services.”

They were informed that the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will be referred to Monitor – a public body which regulates health services in England.

Chief operating officer and deputy chief executive for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust Julie Gillon said: “We’re happy to be involved in meetings on the future shape of health services in Hartlepool.”

It’s about working with the CCG, and getting the trust on board.

Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council

Conservative councillor Brenda Loynes, who was among the delegation, said: “The meeting was very positive and I asked the minister to look at the operating of the trust. The minister said he would pass it on to Monitor.

“I’m pleased with this meeting tomorrow. Hopefully we will have our hospital re-instated and services coming back.”

The delegation handed over a 12,000-name petition created through the Mail’s ‘Bring them Back’ campaign to ensure services – including the A&E department – return to the University Hospital of Hartlepool from the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.

We launched the campaign after plans for a new £300m hospital at Wynyard were put on hold by the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust after being unable to secure £100m of Government funding.

Mr Wright and the rest of the delegation said they were delighted with how well the 45-minute meeting went.