MP 'optimistic' for Hartlepool hospital after constructive talks with health leaders
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill says he has had ‘constructive talks’ with hospital bosses about the future of services provided in town.
Mr Hill met with Julie Gillon, chief executive of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust following earlier concerns he raised about reports to him that mothers were unable to give birth at the University Hospital of Hartlepool’s midwife-led maternity unit.
He said: “It followed on from a meeting of the council’s audit and governance committee at which it was very clear there was cross party red lines of the right of mothers being able to give birth at Hartlepool.
“At the meeting with the chief executive I reiterated that point and offered to work with the Trust to improve maternity services in Hartlepool but with the rider that we need to see the birthing unit up and running.
“I pressed home the fact that I believe we should have a consultant-led unit.”
Mr Hill added: “The meeting also touched on issues around future safeguarding of the hospital and the many services that already exist there.
“I made it clear that the people of Hartlepool felt strongly about the lack of A&E provision and that remains an issue but I was optimistic that the intentions of the Trust is to improve upon and increase services at Holdforth Road.
“The onus is on all of us to make sure services are protected and continue to be fit for purpose.”
At the audit and governance committee meeting on August 22, councillors received a progress report on an action plan which was produced following their investigation into maternity services and elective surgery at Hartlepool hospital.
Chair of the committee, Councillor Ged Hall said: “Members were told by Julie Gillon that recruitment of midwives is ongoing to promote the centre.
“I think that the implementation of the proposals is an ongoing process; in my questions, they are agreeable to develop the centre in Hartlepool, and East Durham, to install and promote the services however, it could be slow progress, particularly with ladies opting to go to North Tees hospital.
“I have asked for regular updates in future meetings.”
Julie Gillon said: “We continue to work collaboratively to deliver an aspirant population health strategy for the people of Hartlepool.
“As a trust we are dedicated to providing services that eradicate health inequalities for our region as a whole, with patient safety remaining at the centre of our priorities as an organisation.”