Alternatives to closure of Hartlepool medical centre to be considered in new eight-week consultation

Another round of public engagement is to be held to help decide the future of a Hartlepool medical centre threatened with closure.

Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 4:40 pm

Hartfields Medical Centre, based at Hartfields Extra Care Village at Bishop Cuthbert, reopened to patients in January after previously being temporarily shut since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

It followed a draft proposal by the operatorMcKenzie Group Practice in February last year to close the Hartfields site permanently and centralise services at its four other sites across the town.

A new eight-week period of public engagement has now been launched by local health bosses at NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and McKenzie Group.

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Hartfields Medical Centre. Picture by FRANK REID

It is to learn how patients and residents would be affected by a permanent closure of Hartfields and also explore other alternatives for its future.

A media release stated: “This second phase engagement and new survey will help the CCG and McKenzie Group to look more closely at the impact of a possible permanent closure, whilst also beginning to explore alternatives to Hartfields Medical Centre being fully closed and fully open.”

It runs from Monday, May 9, and until midnight on Sunday, July 3.

Patients most likely to be affected by any changes to services delivered from Hartfields Medical Centre are urged to give their views and will be written to.

The wider community is also encouraged to complete an online survey whether or not they are registered with a McKenzie Group practice.

McKenzie Group wanted to close Hartfields Medical Centre saying relocating services to other sites would boost clinical quality and practice resilience, be run more efficiently and still provide a high quality of care to patients.

A full report will be produced at the end of the engagement to help the practice decide whether to progress a formal application to the CCG for a branch closure or make changes to its services.

Healthwatch Hartlepool will also conduct focus groups and a series of patient engagement sessions will be held throughout May and June.

Any proposals for significant change will be the subject of formal consultation with people who access the centre and the wider public.