Party hits out at A&E closure

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MORE backing has been given to a resolution that condemns health chiefs over the closure of the University Hospital of Hartlepool’s accident and emergency department.

Easington Constituency Labour Party has unanimously endorsed a resolution that blasts bosses at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust over the decision that saw the A&E unit close on August 2.

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Blackhall representative on Durham County Council, Councillor Rob Crute, drafted the resolution on behalf of the Blackhall Labour Party and it follows similar support from the Labour Group at Durham County Council, as reported by the Hartlepool Mail last month.

The resolution is based on claims that the east Durham community was not properly consulted in the closure decision and says the process was therefore invalid and calls for the re-opening of the unit at the Holdforth Road site.

Coun Crute said: “It is clear now that the demand from the organisations named above, that A&E services be returned to Hartlepool, puts intense pressure on the trust to admit its approach to the closure programme was seriously flawed and thereby to reconsider its closure decision in line with overwhelming public demand.

“That pressure is increased significantly by the vote of no confidence in the Trust passed recently by Hartlepool Borough Council.

“The decision of the trust to close Hartlepool A&E stands in stark contrast to the wishes of the people of Hartlepool and east Durham and is now proved to be seriously weakened.

“Plain common sense indicates that if any consultation process is flawed then the eventual outcome is similarly flawed.”

The trust has previously said the people of County Durham were included in the initial momentum: pathways to healthcare programme consultation and that the health overview and scrutiny committee had been kept fully informed and involved throughout the process.