Hartlepool hospital crisis talks are delayed

The University Hospital of Hartlepool
The University Hospital of Hartlepool

A MEETING between Hartlepool’s MP and a Government minister has been delayed for a week.

MP Iain Wright was scheduled to meet with health minister Jeremy Hunt today, with a hope that the talk would bring hospital services back to Hartlepool.

But Mr Wright received a message from Mr Hunt’s office saying the meeting would have to be postponed until next week.

No reason for the delay was given, and Mr Wright today expressed his “disappointment” saying the move showed that the town was not at the top of the minister’s pecking order.

Mr Wright said: “The meeting has been delayed by a week, at the request of Jeremy Hunt. It is now to go ahead on March 3.

“There was no explanation, it just had to be re-arranged. They apologised and offered an alternative date straight away.”

He added: “It’s disappointing and annoying and I suspect demonstrates that Hartlepool is low down on his list of priorities, but at least it has only been rescheduled.”

Thousands of people across town will be waiting with bated breath for the result of the meeting between the pair over the long-running hospital saga.

The discussion, which is scheduled to take place for up to an hour, will be held either in the Department of Health, or in the House of Commons, in London.

Mr Wright will be handing over the Mail’s Bring Them Back campaign petition which collected 12,000 signatures.

The meeting comes several weeks after Mr Hunt rejected the chance discuss concerns over hospital services in Hartlepool.

Mr Wright has repeatedly said that meeting is not a political move - it is a cross-party issue about the people of the town.

Hartlepool’s hospital services have been at the centre of dispute for months.