Urgent care unit welcomed for Hartlepool hospital, but many say it is not enough

The University Hospital of Hartlepool.
The University Hospital of Hartlepool.

The news of urgent care services returning to the town’s hopsital have been welcomed by council chiefs.

Residents in Hartlepool have also said plans to bring a 24-hour urgent care department back to the University Hospital of Hartlepool are a move in the right direction. But, many say the move is not enough and they want to see an Accident and Emergency Unit re-opened.

We will continue to do everything we can to maintain existing services and fight to see others return

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher

NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group announced this week that North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will continue to deliver urgent care services in alliance with Hartlepool and Stockton Health and the North East Ambulance Service.

There will be a new integrated urgent care service delivered across University Hospital of Hartlepool and University Hospital of North Tees from April 1 next year.

It will be a GP-led urgent care service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool council and chairman of the town’s health and wellbeing board, said: “I welcome this decision. As a council we have been working with the CCG for some time suggesting that these urgent care services needed to be commissioned as a single service and delivered from the Holdforth Road hospital site.

“We fought to retain fertility services at the hospital and we will continue to do everything we can to maintain existing services and fight to see others return as this is the overwhelming wish of the people of Hartlepool.”

Coun Ray Martin-Wells, the chairman of the council’s audit and governance committee, said: “I am delighted that these key services will be returning to the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

“This decision demonstrates that services can be returned to our hospital and hopefully this will be a significant step in seeing others return in the future.”

The news got a mixed reaction from readers on the Hartlepool Mail’s Facebook page.

Among those who welcomed the news was Graeme Scott, who said: “If this is true well done to all those passionate lobbyists.”

Andrew Parkinson, said: “Great news about time though, should have never been taken away.”

However, many people were unhappy, including, Philippa Holmes Nuttall, who said: “Palming us off, this is not a A&E, not good enough.”

And, Joanne Davies, said: “This is not A and E coming back to Hartlepool hospital, it is urgent care services being relocated there. So in other words the service provided at One Life Hartlepool is now going to be moved to the hospital. So we have nothing more than we have now. Still no A and E.”