Health move fears allayed

The new One Life Hartlepool building.
The new One Life Hartlepool building.

HEALTH chiefs have moved to allay fears that services could be moved out of a multi-million pound health centre just months after it opened.

A patient who had an appointment at an ear, nose and throat clinic with the One Life Centre, in Park Road, Hartlepool, contacted the Mail after he had been told that his next check-up appointment was likely to be at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough as the service was being moved out of the new centre.

The pensioner, who did not want to be identified, had previously been treated at the Tees Street Centre in Hartlepool before his appointments were switched to One Life.

But he feared he would have to travel to Middlesbrough for his next six-monthly check-up.

He said: “It just seems like everything is changing at the drop of a hat, and nobody from the patients through to the doctors seem to know what is happening.

“My doctor told me I would get an appointment through the post, and it was likely to be at James Cook.

“We hear all this talk about things being moved from the hospital in Hartlepool to One Life which is fair enough, but surely people can’t be expected to travel through to Middlesbrough for routine appointments.

“The bus services are being cut left, right and centre. So how are people without their own transport expected to get to Middlesbrough?”

But bosses at NHS Hartlepool were quick to deny the claim, and stressed the facility would remain in Hartlepool.

Joanne Dobson, assistant director of commissioning and system development for NHS Hartlepool, said:  “NHS Hartlepool can reassure patients that Ear, Nose and Throat services will remain within Hartlepool.

“We are committed to providing high quality community and primary care services and continue to increase and improve the range of services available.”