'˜Enormous' achievements have been made to Hartlepool health services, says independent group chairman
An independent chairman of a working group who argued for more joined up health and social care in Hartlepool hailed 'enormous' achievements made in the last year.
Professor David Colin-Thomé heard an update on how recommendations he made in his Hartlepool Matters report last year have progressed.
He advocated closer working between service providers in Hartlepool where possible.
And he was pleased with what he heard had been going on from council, hospital and primary care officials in a meeting at Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Professor Colin-Thomé said: “Of course, there is a lot of things more we need to do, but given the shortage of cash in public services, I think what they have achieved by working together is enormous.
“By working together we can use resources better. I am really pleased and want to commend everybody.”
Achievements included the opening of the new GP-led Urgent Care Unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, which includes a walk in and minor injuries centre; the opening of the £4m Centre for Independent Living in Burbank Street for people with disabilities and the wider community; extended GP opening hours, and closer working between Hartlepool Borough Council, Hartlepool and Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group and the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
Gill Alexander, chief executive of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “We agreed to collaborate as best we could to try to put one plan together for the town.
“We have been working on that and delivering what we can as fast as we can over the last year.
“It is sometimes very easy to be down-spirited about what’s going on in Hartlepool in terms of health and social care, but actually on a daily basis some really quite remarkable people are making a real difference to the lives and life chances of some of our most vulnerable residents.”
Ms Alexander added: “This is a plan that we will continuously add to.”
A draft implementation plan has been produced to highlight what has already been achieved, what happens next and how the success of this work will be measured.
Karen Hawkins, from Hartlepool and Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group, said it had been working to providing more support for people in their homes.
Going forward, she said it will focus on overseas recruitment of GPs and look at how to use space in the One Life centre following the Urgent Care Unit launch.
Ms Hawkins said: “It’s really encouraging how we have worked together and developed plans but there’s lots more to do and we are all signed up to that.”