Ambulances in taxi ranks

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WITH reference to the article, A&E to close in six weeks (Mail, June 20), it appears the Government proposals for any service changes should be led by clinicians.

As far as I am concerned patients are being totally ignored and continue to be driven from the top down.

I believe the the NHS and the Primary Care Trust are basically giving the residents of Hartlepool, Easington, outlying areas and East Durham the two finger salute.

It is disgraceful in this day and age that a town the size of Hartlepool, and many thousands more residents from surrounding areas, will only have A&E services 12 hours per day at a local clinic where parking provision at best caters for staff with very little for visitors.

Plus there is a very chaotic and confusing entrance and exit situation that seriously needs addressing urgently.

The golden hour is vital and more so now when there will be no A&E provision of services in Hartlepool between the hours of 8pm and 8am, seven days a week.

I envisage lots of 999 calls where residents who have no transport and are unable to afford a taxi will need the ambulance.

So am I to assume the NHS will purchase more ambulances to provide what will be a much used service and will they stand in taxi ranks awaiting our calls?

Finally I would urge every concerned patient or resident to contact the authorities and remind them it is people choice and also remember the 30,000 people who petitioned to Save Our Hospital.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust can be contacted at pals.hp@nth.nhs.uk and NHS Hartlepool, the primary care trust, at mynhshartlepool@nhs.net.

Councillor Edna Wright,

Liberal Democrat, Hart ward,

Weymouth Drive,

Hart Station.