TWO recent developments have taken place which show only too clearly the muddle which has characterised the circumstances surrounding the future of the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
In his comments on the closure of the A&E department, MP Iain Wright justifies this action by jumping on the bandwagon and intimating that the present A&E department is not up to standard.
When those carpetbaggers, Blair and Reid, arrived in town as part of a pre-election boost for their local candidate, Mr Wright, back in 2004, they gave unconditional guarantees that under no circumstances would Hartlepool’s hospital close, nor would its various departments be compromised.
Mr Wright was quite prepared to accept the plaudits associated with this cynical exercise in vote catching.
The warning signs were there when Mr Wright and the other Hartlepool representatives were totally out-manoeuvred when the Darzi recommendations (favourable to Hartlepool) were rejected.
In recent times Mr Wright and many elected councillors have stood on the sidelines while there has been an unrelenting campaign designed to undermine the integrity of the hospital.
Cuts have been made, reduction in services have taken place, leading to the inevitable situation facing us now.
Mr Foster, chief executive of the trust, is still confident that, despite the fact that the final cost could rocket to £510m, a “world class hospital” could still be built at Wynyard.
No world class hospital in my view has emerged as a result of PFI funding.
On the contrary, hospitals throughout the country are desperately trying to disentangle themselves from the consequences of employing such funding.
The Centre for International Health Policy states that because of PFI debt changes hospitals are having to make staff redundant, close down wards and reduce the quality of care for patients.
Hardly a recipe for a world class hospital.