MP secures showdown with health minister over Hartlepool hospital services

SHOWDOWN ... Health Minister Jeremy Hunt.
SHOWDOWN ... Health Minister Jeremy Hunt.

AN MP is set to meet with the country’s health minister next week - with an ultimate aim of bringing hospital services back to Hartlepool.

Thousands of people across town will be waiting with bated breath for the result of the meeting between Hartlepool’s MP Iain Wright and Government Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt over the long-running hospital saga.

The discussion, which is scheduled to take place for up to an hour on Tuesday, February 24, will be held either in the Department of Health, or in the House of Commons, in London.

Mr Wright, who will also hand over to Mr Hunt the 12,000 petition signatures from the Mail’s Bring Them Back campaign, said: “Hartlepool has been ignored for years with the promise that the new hospital at Wynyard is imminent - but it’s not now.

“I want to ask, ‘What are you going to do to return services to Hartlepool?

“It’s very clear that the people of Hartlepool weren’t particularly fond of the idea of the Wynyard hospital, but they certainly do not want North Tees as their only hospital.

“The people of Hartlepool are being very clear in that they want their hospital returning, but the trust are not listening. That being the case, what happens now?

“The strength of feeling is so great, are you going to listen to this?’”

Mr Wright added: “There’s a very clear case and I’m going to use the meeting to set out that case.

“I will set out the difficulties that we’ve had and I would like a very clear route from the minister in terms of how he can work with us to return services back to Hartlepool, so we can have vibrant hospital services here in the town.”

The meeting comes several weeks after Mr Hunt rejected the chance discuss concerns over hospital services in Hartlepool.

Mr Wright has repeatedly said that meeting is not a political move - it is a cross-party issue about the people of the town.

Hartlepool’s hospital services have been at the centre of dispute for months.

A heated public meeting at the Town Hall Theatre heard from North Tees and Hartlepool health bosses that there was “no chance” of services being brought back to Hartlepool.