Special meeting fixed to help council decide response to Hartlepool medical centre closure plans

A special meeting has been fixed to help form Hartlepool Borough Council’s response to a proposed closure of a town medical practice.

By Mark Payne
Monday, 9th August 2021, 5:47 pm
Updated Monday, 9th August 2021, 5:47 pm
Hartfields Medical Centre. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartfields Medical Centre. Picture by FRANK REID

People are invited to attend an additional meeting of the council’s Audit and Governance Committee on Friday, August 27, to discuss plans to close Hartfields Medical Practice, based at Hartfields Extra Care Village at Bishop Cuthbert.

It has been temporarily closed since mid-March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But The McKenzie Group, which runs the practice, is to apply to NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to close the practice permanently.

Cllr Rob Cook, chair of the Audit and Governance Committee.

It intends to bring services together at its other sites at Wynyard Road Medical Centre, McKenzie House, Throston Medical Centre and Victoria Medical Centre.

Practice chiefs say it will improve quality and efficiency.

The McKenzie Group is carrying out patient and stakeholder engagement until Sunday, August 29, to gather people’s views and experiences during the temporary closure and to ensure they understand what is planned.

Councillor Rob Cook, chair of the council’s audit and governance committee, said: “We would very much like to hear people’s views to help form council’s response to the stakeholder engagement.

“If they would like to attend the meeting, they need to register with us before 12 noon this coming Friday 13th August.”

The meeting on August 27 starts at 10am but spaces for the public are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

Almost 2,200 patients are registered with the Hartfields medical centre.

Cllr Cook said at an earlier meeting of the committee: “The residents are absolutely devastated about having to look and go somewhere else when it’s right there on their doorstep. We’re talking about a lot of people who are old and have access to a doctor.”

Anyone wishing to attend should phone (01429) 523193 or (01429) 523013 before the above deadline.

The Bishop Cuthbert, Hartfields and Clavering Residents Association has started an online petition to fight the closure and has so far attracted nearly 400 signatures.

All patients over the age of 16 years registered with McKenzie Group practice have been invited by McKenzie to take part in an engagement survey.

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