THE University Hospital of Hartlepool is to close, regardless of whether plans for a new £299m development go ahead, bosses have confirmed.
The Government has recently given its backing to proposals for the new Wynyard Hospital, a decision that will effectively lead to the closure of both the Hartlepool hospital and the University Hospital of North Tees.
But Alan Foster, chief executive of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, told a local newspaper this week that the Treasury could still reject the new scheme when it gets to the final contract stage in 18 months’ time, adding that, if this were the case, the Hartlepool centre would close regardless.
“Hartlepool would essentially come to North Tees. Hartlepool as a hospital will go, whether it’s to Wynyard or wherever,” he said.
However, the trust is hoping the PFI project will go ahead, seeing the development of a new state-of-the-art facility that would take over around 60% of the services provided by the existing centres, while the rest are transferred to community settings. Foster said: “The two existing hospital sites deliver excellent services but, year-on-year, are costing us more to maintain their infrastructure.”