Specialist baby care services will not be axed after crunch meeting in Hartlepool

North Tees Hospital.
North Tees Hospital.

Intensive care services for babies born in the Hartlepool area have been preserved.

A report on the future of neo-natal care for the region recommended the baby unit at the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton be downgraded from intensive care provision to special care.

If the report was implemented, it would have meant about 100 babies a year currently treated at North Tees would be treated elsewhere, mostly at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Following pressure from the North East Joint Scrutiny Committee, NHS England gave a reassurance there will now be no significant downgrade of neo-natal services at North Tees.

Scrutiny committee chairman Coun Ray Martin-Wells, who sits on Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “This is good news for the residents.

“The committee wasn’t happy with the proposals for North Tees, and were not happy with the reasons given for it in the original report.

“It may have only affected 100 families, but that’s still two a week which is two too many.”