Plans to axe Hartlepool hospital's A&E unit shelved

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Hartlepool University Hospital
Image caption,
The hospital's A&E unit was due to close in the autumn

Plans to close the accident and emergency unit at Hartlepool's University Hospital have been shelved.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust had planned to move A&E provision to a new £20m One Life centre on the town's Park Road by the end of the year.

But following concerns from town councillors, patients and unions, the trust has now ordered an independent review of services.

A spokesman stressed the review would be clinically-led.

The review follows a decision earlier this year to scrap multi-million pound plans for a super hospital at nearby Wynyard.

The trust said the review was decided upon after talks between NHS Hartlepool, Hartlepool Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee chairman Stephen Akers-Belcher and the North East Strategic Health Authority.

NHS Hartlepool chairman Steve Wallace said: "Following extremely constructive meetings with Mr Akers-Belcher and the strategic health authority, we have offered not go forward with the changes.

"We propose instead an independent clinically-led review in which the overview and scrutiny members can be involved.

"We very much welcome the input given by Mr Akers-Belcher and health scrutiny colleagues and hope to work productively with them over the coming weeks."

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