The Biggest single issue facing Hartlepool is the Hartlepool Hospital situation.
There are several issues we need to resolve;
First – we must stop this nonsense idea of regionalising and centralising of health services.
We need local services at the local hospital, that are easily accessible for all residents
Second we need democratic accountability brought into decision making.
I believe if we bring in locally elected health boards we would never have these kind of issues with health services in the future.
You would have elected people who understand the situation on the ground held accountable by the ballot box.
The elected health boards would be much better than people selected by unaccountable health boards who don’t understand what people want.
The third issue is that the Wynyard hospital it will never happen, it is pie in the sky thinking and everyone knows it.
The Health trust is clearly out of touch with public opinion.
The people don’t want this new hospital they want to keep their existing hospital.
The Wynyard hospital project will not work on 3 levels;
1) The travel issues and costs for both the NHS and the people of Hartlepool are unacceptable.
2) Traffic on the A19 will make it extremely difficult for someone in a life or death situation getting to either the North Tees Hospital or James Cook Hospital in an emergency. Frankly the possibilities don’t bear thinking about.
3) Finally it is the wish of the people of Hartlepool, who must not be ignored, to have their own viable hospital returned to them.
We all love the NHS it is our greatest institution and we must protect it.
We stand here today united to send a loud and clear message to the decision makers at the top.
I now call on Alan Foster and the health trust to stop burying their heads in the sand, scrap the Wynyard project, and return to the people of Hartlepool a fully functioning hospital with all its services.