Readers speak out on Hartlepool hospital changes

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READERS are having their say about changes at the University Hospital of Hartlepool after leaving a host of comments on our website and Facebook page.

The Mail revealed yesterday that hundreds of jobs are set to be affected and hospital wards closed under controversial plans to transfer emergency medical wards and the critical care unit from Hartlepool to Stockton.

If approved the move will see all emergency admissions go to North Tees, four emergency medical wards close at Hartlepool with up to 120 beds removed, the jobs of up to 300 people affected, with staff from the existing emergency medical wards and critical care unit transferring to Stockton and the four-bed critical care unit relocated to add to North Tees’s 12-bed critical care unit.

On the Mail’s website, Man in a grey suit stated: “It’s what we’ve said for long enough, death by a thousand cuts. No, there won’t be some sudden unexpected closure, but the effect will be just the same.”

PoolieBoy wrote: “It looks as though they are winding down the whole town, striking us from the map, writing us off as a bad loss.”

Terry Graham posted: “North Tees is already overstretched, car parking expensive and in short supply and also the nightmare journey along the A19 in peak hours to be taken into consideration.

Amy Ward posted: “It was inevitable from the start!”

And Anthony Dunn wrote: “Forgotten town again...”

While Debbie Kearns posted: “This town has nothing left, no hospital, no shops, no nightlife...oh forgot we have lots of Greggs pastie shops!”

Under the move, the University Hospital of Hartlepool would become a centre for diagnostic tests, day case and low risk operations with an increase in the number of medical rehabilitation beds.

The re-location will affect around 30 patients a day from the Hartlepool and Easington area. It follows an independent review of services by the National Clinical Advisory Team (NCAT), which was commissioned by the NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) after concerns from staff at the Holdforth Road site about emergency and critical care services.

Health bosses stress services are “currently safe, but not sustainable” to meet rising national standards and NCAT acknowledged changes should be made quickly to ensure services are of the “required standard”.