Hartlepool MP and council leader say 'serious questions' will be asked about hospital use in coronavirus battle

Hartlepool’s MP and council leader say serious questions will be asked about the role the town’s hospital has played in the local coronavirus fight.
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Member of Parliament Mike Hill and Hartlepool Borough Council leader Shane Moore have expressed concern that local health bosses may not be using the University Hospital of Hartlepool to its full potential.

Mr Hill said the hospital in Holdforth Road has at least two fully equipped wards which are empty and available to Covid-19 patients or those being discharged from other hospitals who otherwise are being placed in care homes.

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He added he has been asked by constituents about the issue and the hospital’s coronavirus capability following the recent temporary removal of a large oxygen supply tank to North Tees hospital in Stockton.

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill (left) and council leader Shane Moore say they will hold hospital bosses to account.Hartlepool MP Mike Hill (left) and council leader Shane Moore say they will hold hospital bosses to account.
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill (left) and council leader Shane Moore say they will hold hospital bosses to account.

Mr Hill said: “I have spoken to the Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council on this subject, Shane Moore, and he agrees that after the coronavirus crisis is over serious questions need to be asked of the North Tees and Hartlepool Trust about this matter.

“We stand by our NHS and our care workers and trust them implicitly. We put our care in their hands and have faith in their strategies for coping with Covid-19.

“However it is only right that at the appropriate time we do question the decision makers and hold them to account as to why our much loved hospital was never utilised in this time of crisis.”

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Mr Hill claimed the cost of upgrading and staffing the wards at Hartlepool hospital would have been much cheaper than the creation of the new Nightingale Hospital in Washington.

The University Hospital of Hartlepool.The University Hospital of Hartlepool.
The University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Councillor Moore added: “Mike and I are in full agreement and will be holding them [the trust] to account to make sure any services and equipment transferred to North Tees during this outbreak will return afterwards.”

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has said that the Covid-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented challenge to the NHS and it is reconfiguring all clinical services including adapting many wards to meet the surge to ensure the best possible outcome for patients.

It stressed Hartlepool hospital remains open and that it has oxygen canisters should any patients need it.

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