Union joins A&E talks

The A&E Department at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

The A&E Department at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

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UNION bosses are working with hospital chiefs ahead of the closure of an accident and emergency department.

Public sector Unison is involved in discussions with the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust after it announced its time table for the closure of the A&E Unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

The closure on August 2 follows recommendations from the Strategic Health Authority, together with the Hartlepool Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Mike Hill, regional organiser for Unison, the largest health union in the country, said: “Unison is currently engaged in negotiations with the employer over the review of A&E services and how these proposals will affect staff as well as patients.

“Initially set to be implemented in October last year staff have had a long and anxious wait for developments with patient care, job security, and maintaining the quality and robustness of A&E provision for the people of Hartlepool and Easington being uppermost in their minds.

“What we hope to see from both internal and external consultations is an understanding of the need for best practice to continue in emergency care and for stability for staff in the future.”