Hartlepool MP says patients and NHS staff ‘strung along for too long’

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

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HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright said patients and NHS staff have been “strung along for too long” after the Government pulled the previous Wynyard funding.

Mr Wright said: “This decision cannot mean that hospital services continue to be centralised at North Tees Hospital at the expense of Hartlepool’s hospital.

“That is unacceptable for the people of my town.”

He added talks need to start immediately on bringing services back to Hartlepool and a timetable put in place.

Mr Wright said: “Uncertainty about hospital services north of the Tees has dragged on for nearly 20 years.

“This decision should draw a line under the situation and attention should be given to how both Hartlepool and North Tees hospitals can be made viable with distinct areas of specialism.

“Having one hospital north of the Tees, if that hospital being North Tees, is not good enough. That has been my position all along.

“I am writing today to the local NHS trust to express these views and ensure that services are moved back to Hartlepool.

“The people of the area and NHS staff have been strung along and left in limbo since the Tories pulled the funding and offered nothing for the local area in return.”

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham blamed politics for preventing the North East getting world-class health facilities.

He said: “It is an outrage that, after seven years of planning and reviews, the proposals for the new hospital are no nearer to gaining the final approval that will deliver a world-class facility to the region and help to tackle health inequalities.

“I am sick and tired of the Government playing politics with the health of the people in our communities, and I understand that the local Trust now feels they can do nothing more to prove their case.”

Easington MP Grahame Morris said: “I am concerned that patients in East Durham are in the worst possible situation, with the majority of hospital services being transferred to an outdated, inaccessible and cramped site at Stockton, North Tees.

“The Health Trust must begin to prepare plans to return hospital services to Hartlepool if the proposals for a new hospital are going to be suspended indefinitely.”