New Hartlepool MP opens talks in Government about reopening services at town's hospital
Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer has spoken to new health secretary Sajid Javid about people’s wishes to see more services provided from the town’s hospital.
Mrs Mortimer says she put forward a “strong case” for the University Hospital of Hartlepool after raising the issue in Westminster with Mr Javid, who only succeeded Matt Hancock last month, and Minister of State for Health Edward Argar.
She said the hospital is one of her top priorities and “worth fighting for” after being raised by numerous residents on the doorstep when she campaigned to become Hartlepool’s new MP earlier this year.
Mrs Mortimer, who became Hartlepool’s first Conservative MP in 57 years in May, said: “I am putting the wheels in motion to try to bring back services to Hartlepool hospital.
"This is a big ask as we will need several departments to return before we can bring back a fully functioning A&E department. But l have climbed mountains before and am committed to championing our community.
“The issue with hospital services was something that was brought up time and time again on the door steps and therefore is one of my top priorities on my list.
"It is a tall order but most things worth fighting for are and no matter how much time and effort required. I am on the case.”
Hartlepool’s A&E department closed in August 2011 after a fight by campaigners lasting eight years.
It was after a review found it could not attract enough senior staff to be safe with patients subsequently redirected to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, about 12 miles away.
In April 2017, the 24-hour GP-led Integrated Urgent Care unit opened at the Holdforth Road site for walk-ins and treating of minor injuries.
Last September, hospital bosses at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust announced plans for a phased redevelopment of the Hartlepool site, including the provision of services to complement those provided elsewhere in the region.
The plans also include the upgrading of existing facilities and investment to make Hartlepool a centre of excellence in elective care and clinical practice.