Council chiefs to seek urgent meeting with hospital trust over maternity concerns

Council chiefs say they will be seeking an urgent meeting with health bosses.

By Mark Payne
Saturday, 20 July, 2019, 14:32
Hartlepool Borough Counci leader Shane Moore. Picture by FRANK REID

Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “We have not been informed of any changes to maternity services provided from the University Hospital of Hartlepool, but it would be a huge shock and disappointment if reports of births no longer taking place there are true.

“As an authority we are very concerned and we will be seeking an urgent meeting with the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust to try to clarify the situation.

“We remain committed to working with the trust going forward.”

Last year, the Council’s Audit and Governance Committee called for the creation of a ‘maternity hub’ in the town following an in-depth investigation into the services and Coun Moore said the council understood the trust to be fully supportive of the proposal.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I would urge the Trust to make clear their intentions for maternity services in Hartlepool - the people of Hartlepool deserve to know what is going on,” he said

Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor Brenda Loynes, who was Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee when it carried out its maternity investigation, added: “When members of the committee made a fact-finding visit to a similar maternity hub in Blackburn, Lancashire, they were joined by managers from the trust and it seemed that everyone was on board with the idea.

“If that turns out to not be the case then I would be bitterly disappointed.”