Hartlepool must be united over the future of our hospital – a Mail view

BRING THEM BACK: The University Hospital of Hartlepool has lost services to North Tees, in Stockton.

BRING THEM BACK: The University Hospital of Hartlepool has lost services to North Tees, in Stockton.

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WHEN the Mail launched its Bring them Back campaign, it did so in response to the huge weight of feeling over the issues surrounding Hartlepool’s hospital.

It did so too in the hope a petition and voices could possibly force change and bring a return of NHS hospital services to the town.

You signed the petition by the thousand, you have marched, stood in protest and shared your views.

Your voices have already made a difference – securing a meeting between your elected representative MP and Health Minister Jeremy Hunt.

The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust are steadfast in their view that a return of services will not happen as it believes it would be clinically impossible to do so.

What has never been an issue is the tireless and fantastic work done by the frontline health heroes the trust employs – a view supported by all.

And what is also clear, which has been made evident in recent weeks, is an increased need for local authorities to work with trusts to ensure that our communities and residents get the best possible care available to them.

We support a view that severing all links with our health trust is fundamentally wrong and would, as the council put it, put those most vulnerable at risk.

What we have never supported and never will, is these issues being used as a political football.

Back-biting and in-fighting will only serve to divide a community when we should be focusing on our current fight on the issue of returning services to the town.

Elected representatives turning on each other simply weakens the cause.

We understand these are emotive issues, we understand there is anger, but we must remain united in a single focus to ‘Bring them Back’.

WATCH: Hartlepool council meeting that descended into chaos – in full

• We have been inundated with comments on our website and our Facebook page on this issue and will be printing readers’ readers in Wednesday’s Hartlepool Mail.