Campaigner still looking for answer

A HOSPITAL campaigner has hit out at the “completely ineffective” vote of no confidence in health bosses.

In September, Hartlepool’s full council unanimously backed a vote of no confidence in the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust over the A&E closure at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Keith Fisher, chairman of the Save Our Hospital group, asked Mayor Stuart Drummond at the State of the Borough debate what is being done to make it effective.

Mayor Drummond said the council has no control over the trust and that the officers of the trust are accountable to the board, of which he is not a member.

He said: “Can the council get rid of the Trust? Well no, they can’t.

“They can express their concern in the way that the trust is being run, which is what the council did with the vote.

“What is more productive is to work with the trust to make sure that the concerns are addressed.”

Mayor Drummond said people would be more assured once a decision about the proposed hospital at Wynyard is taken.

He wrote to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley late December asking for a quick decision but is still waiting to hear back.

Mr Fisher said he was unhappy with the answer and a similar response by chairman of the council, Councillor Carl Richardson, at a previous meeting.

He said the vote was either “window dressing” tactics or at worse electioneering.