Prime Minister's response to question on Hartlepool's hospital was '˜rude and unacceptable' says MP

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill has criticised Prime Minister Theresa May for failing to acknowledge Hartlepool hospital in Parliament.

Friday, 15th December 2017, 2:38 pm
Updated Friday, 15th December 2017, 2:40 pm
The University Hospital of Hartlepool

During Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons this week, Mr Hill asked Mrs May if she agreed with him that it is ‘disgraceful’ that people have to travel up to 15 miles to the nearest A&E.

But Mrs May only referred to the recent resignation of Lord Kerslake as chairman of King’s College Hospital in London over NHS funding levels, who Mr Hill prefaced his question about.

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill. Picture by FRANK REID

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Commenting on the response he received, Mr Hill said: “I am extremely annoyed that the Prime Minister didn’t even mention Hartlepool, yet alone the hospital, in her response and I consider that to be downright rude and unacceptable.

“I told Theresa May face to face that we have a perfectly good, fit for purpose hospital here in Hartlepool and that it is abhorrent that people have to travel up to 15 miles to get to the nearest A&E when we once had our own A&E.

“The fact that she couldn’t be bothered to even address my point about local services or even acknowledge that our wonderful hospital even exists is shameful and an example of the contempt the Government really has for local NHS services.

“My constituents will be quite rightly angered by her choice to ignore my direct question and frankly I don’t blame them.”

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill. Picture by FRANK REID

In her response, Mrs May simply said she thought Lord Kerslake had made the right decision in stepping down as chairman of King’s College Hospital after it ran up significant deficits and referred to Lord Kerslake a Labour party adviser.

Mr Hill added: “Lord Kerslake in stepping down as chairman of a very important and world renowned hospital trust did so over the Government’s under funding of the NHS and empty promises which, in his opinion, is putting them on ‘a final warning over NHS funding’.

“To me this important intervention by a very well respected and important figure could not be let go, but it did allow me to put my question about the future of our hospital in Hartlepool into context.”

Hartlepool’s A&E department closed in August 2011 with patients having to travel to the nearest at the University Hospital of North Tees since.

In April this year, a new GP-led Urgent Care Unit opened at the University Hospital of Hartlepool featuring walk-in and minor injuries services.

It has been praised by councillors and patients.