Hospital staff move denied

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HEALTH bosses have denied claims that all staff are being transferred from Hartlepool’s hospital and have moved to reassure people that the site will not close imminently.

One concerned member of staff from the University Hospital of Hartlepool contacted the Mail to say there were rumours suggesting all staff currently working at the Holdforth Road site were to be moved to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton.

The worker, who did not wish to be named, said no jobs would be lost, but all positions would be transferred to the Stockton hospital with a view to closing the Hartlepool site.

Chairman of the Save Our Hospital campaign Keith Fisher also voiced similar concerns.

He said: “One of our members overheard nursing staff saying that our hospital would be closing. #

“That is all I know.”

But today hospital bosses were quick to deny the claims, saying all staff knew they could be required to work across both sites.

A spokeswoman for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “All of our staff work across sites as needed to meet the needs of patients and the service.

“The University Hospital of Hartlepool is not going to close.”

Yesterday the Mail reported how the new hospital for Hartlepool is likely to not open until 2017, two-and-a-half years behind the original planned opening.

Trust bosses say they are starting an 18-month process to procure builders as they still bid to secure £300m of private funding.

Paul Garvin, chairman of the trust, said the plans had been put back due to the new coalition government axing public funding earmarked by the previous Labour government.

The trust also said its hopes of meeting the 2017 deadline will also depend on its financial position when the tendering process has been completed in 18 months.