HEALTH bosses have promised that hospital services will not be moved to one site at Stockton following a meeting with senior councillors.
Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher and fellow councillors Ray Martin-Wells and Stephen Akers-Belcher met with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation chiefs Alan Foster and Paul Garvin at Hartlepool Civic Centre on Tuesday.
The meeting was set up after the trust opted to shelve plans for a new £300m hospital at Wynyard until after the general election.
That news sparked fears that with a large number of services having already been moved from Hartlepool to the University Hospital of North Tees, the whole operation would be moved to Stockton to run from one site.
But during the meeting, Mr Foster and Mr Garvin issued assurances that would not happen, and added that a new hospital was still a “priority”.
It was also revealed that the pair would face the public at a meeting which will take place at the Town Hall Theatre later this month.
A joint statement issued between Hartlepool Council and the trust said: “Following a productive meeting, the council received an assurance that there is no plan to have a single-site operation at North Tees.
“The Trust maintains that a new world-class hospital is still the priority.
“The Trust wishes to develop a plan that will keep services close to home and intends to utilise the next six months to engage with the public on what Hartlepool health services could look like for the future.
“The engagement will cover all services including Urgent Care.
“The Council will be holding a public meeting on Monday, November 24 at the Town Hall Theatre, Raby Road, starting at 5pm and both the Chief Executive and Chairman of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have agreed to attend.”
Meanwhile, signatures have continued to pour in to support the Mail’s Bring Them Back campaign which we launched in light of the Wynyard announcement to try and put pressure on the health trust to restore services to Holdforth Road.
So far, more than 6,000 people have signed the petition online, with a further 1,000 residents signing copies of the petition in our office in Wesley Square.
To add your name to the fight, go to the petition here or call into our office between 10am-2pm during the week.