Health bosses' calls for Hartlepool medical centre to reopen are welcomed by campaigner

A health campaigner who started a petition against plans to permanently close a medical centre has welcomed news that it could reopen in 2022.

Hartfields Medical Centre, which is on the same site as Hartfields retirement village, on Bishop Cuthbert, in Hartlepool, has been temporarily shut since mid-March 2020 due to the pandemic.

Managers the McKenzie Group Practice announced its intention to apply to health chiefs to permanently close the centre.

But health bosses at the Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are recommending the site reopens in January while a second engagement exercise on the closure plans is carried out from January 14 to March 25.

Local resident Glen Hughes outside Hartfields Medical Centre which is threatened with closure.

Bishop Cuthbert resident Glen Hughes launched a petition signed by more than 400 people opposing the closure when the plans were announced in July.

He said of the latest development: “It’s good news and common sense because these community services are needed now more than ever before.

"It’s great news for the residents of Hartfields. I know a lot of them were quite anxious of that closing.

"This will help ease their minds as well as offering the residents of Bishop Cuthbert and Clavering access to a vital community service.”

Glen, a dad of two young children, added it is difficult enough as it is to get GP appointments, adding: “It makes sense to be keeping more practices open as opposed to shutting them.”

The McKenzie Group Practice has said bringing services together at its other sites will “enhance clinical quality and practice resilience to run more efficiently”.

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