An era of medical advances

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HARTLEPOOL has long had a reputation for leading the way in helping couples to become parents.

It was back in the 1970s that it all started at Cameron Hospital.

A simple technique changed the future forever for some Hartlepool families.

Chris Cordner looks back in the third part of his mini series on the hospital.

THEY were exciting times at Cameron Hospital in the 1970s and 1980s.

Medical advances were having a big effect on the people of Hartlepool. Whenever the Mail reported them, it led to a surge of interest.

This was the era when hospitals were not just about treating the sick and wounded. It was the time of breakthroughs in fertility treatment.

It all started in the 1970s when a technique developed in London was offered in Hartlepool.

Cameron became the first NHS hospital in the country to offer a plastic clip to women, in surgery which meant a sterilisation operation was reversible.

Within hours of it being reported in the Hartlepool Mail, the hospital was bombarded with calls from women and doctors surgeries were full.

The technique gave women a choice. If they changed their minds and wanted to have a further child in the future, the option was now there.

Months later, the first person to be born through the technique came into the world - named Kelly Ann Tomlinson and whose parents lived in Nesbitt Road in Peterlee.

Cameron continued to lead the way when it installed a £24,000 ultra scanner.

And soon after, the hospital was making history again with the birth of the first baby - Terence Wilkinson - through the Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) technique.

Does anyone know more about the miracle babies born at Cameron?

Get in touch with Chris Cordner by calling (01429) 239377 or emailing