Health report sets out plan for more services in Hartlepool

Professor David Colin-Thom�
Professor David Colin-Thom�

A civic leader welcomed proposals to create more joined up health care in Hartlepool which calls for more hospital services to be brought back to town.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, chair of Hartlepool Health and Wellbeing Board, said he was “delighted” with the Hartlepool Matters report of Professor David Colin-Thome.

we can recapture a lot more of what is currently done outside of Hartlepool inside of Hartlepool

Professor David Colin-Thome

Professor Colin-Thome was tasked with looking at how health and social care services in Hartlepool could be better integrated following concerns about the level of local provision.

He presented his final report which sets out recommendations for closer working between all levels of health care, including better record sharing, and more services provided in community settings in Hartlepool instead of at out of town hospitals.

Prof Colin-Thome said: “It will be disappointing in parts because of the A&E issue. I think we have to accept that many towns, not just Hartlepool, will not have the ability to have full blown A&Es due to staff and technical expertise.

“But we can recapture a lot more of what is currently done outside of Hartlepool inside of Hartlepool.”

Prof Colin-Thome said patients should be part of the process and hold the whole system to account.

He added it has the support of the hospital trust, CCG and GP Federation.

Coun Akers-Belcher said: “The report confirms the ambitions that we have for changing the delivery of services in Hartlepool.

“It is a good starting point and we really need to build in that and show we can be an exemplar which in turn will attract the expertise we need for GPs so we have a first class service that meets the needs of patients.”

An Implementation Group will be set up to progress the project.

Ali Wilson, chief officer of Hartlepool and Stockton CCG, said: “I think it’s great that Hartlepool has got this report as starting point for the way we can change the way in which we all work together in the future.”