Call to put pressure on for return of town’s A&E

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RESIDENTS are being urged to contact their councillor to generate support for the return of the A&E department at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Keith Fisher, chairman of the Save Our Hospital campaign group, said now is the time to put “real pressure” on councillors to seek their views over the closure.

Officials at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have already said A&E will not return to the Holdforth Road site for both safety and quality reasons.

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The A&E department was closed as part of plans leading to the building of a new hospital at Wynyard.

But Mr Fisher said: “I am encouraging people to contact their councillors to put them under pressure to see what they are doing over the hospital.

“At the council meetings that I attend, 98 per cent of councillors do not say a word.

“I think individual residents are entitled to hear what they are doing about the hospital.

“We need to take one step at a time and the next step has to be the return of the A&E department.

“I don’t pretend to know how to do that.

“That is up the councillors and they are elected to represent people.”

Mr Fisher has urged residents to contact councillors by either phone, letter or email, to get their views ahead of the local elections in May.

It comes after the full council last week agreed for Labour councillor Carl Richardson, chair of Hartlepool Council, to write to the trust to let them officially know about the vote of no confidence in the trust’s board.

The motion was backed last September over the trust’s handling of the A&E closure at the University Hospital of Hartlepool but a letter to officially inform the Trust was never sent.

Coun Richardson was only ever asked to write to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. But now he will write to the trust.