Hartlepool MP comes out in support of medical practice threatened with closure
Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer is supporting calls for a medical centre threatened with closure to stay open.
Mrs Mortimer gave her backing to Hartfields Medical Centre, attached to Hartfields retirement village, which bosses at the McKenzie Group Practice intend to permanently close.
She pointed to the start of work on a major new 570-home housing development next to Bishop Cuthbert nearby as a reason for retaining local health services.
Mrs Mortimer said: "I want to see it open. I think actually people shouldn’t be fearful of this development putting pressure on it, they should be thinking of this development as a good reason why we need to retain services in our local area.”
Medical centre managers are currently holding a consultation on the plans to permanently close the medical centre which has been temporarily shut since mid March last year due to the pandemic.
A petition created by the Bishop Cuthbert, Hartfields and Clavering Residents Association has so far been signed by more than 400 people.
Mrs Mortimer hopes to speak to residents on the issue soon after being recalled to Parliament unexpectedly because of the unfolding situation in Afghanistan.
McKenzie Group Practice have said they will be applying to NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to request the closure of the Hartfields site to bring services together at its four other sites.
They say it will “enhance clinical quality and practice resilience” to run more efficiently, and allow it to continue to deliver high quality of care to patients.
Mrs Mortimer will also attend a special meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council’s audit and governance committee has been called for Friday, August 27, to help form the council’s official response.
Chair of the committee Councillor Rob Cook earlier said: “They can’t just go ahead and close something because that’s what they want to do, it just doesn’t work like that, there are procedures that have got to be followed.
“It’s just not on as far as I’m concerned.”
There are 2,180 patients currently registered at Hartfields Medical Centre.
McKenzie Group Practice say the premises are limited comprising up to three clinical rooms, including one without daylight, and there is no scope to develop it further.
All patients over 16 registered with any of its practices are asked to take part in a survey before Sunday, August 29, at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Hartfields