Over the last ten years Hartlepool Hospital has been systematically stripped of its services, a once beacon of experience has been pulled apart ward by ward and service by service.
The reality of all of this is that almost all services at Hartlepool Hospital have been removed or transferred elsewhere; this means that you can no longer walk into Hartlepool Hospital A&E department, visit a loved one in recovery or pay final respects to beloved family members nearing the end of their life. Now you have to either own your own transport or know someone close to you who will offer to take you, rely on a totally inadequate shuttle service, in some cases take up to five buses or simply walk away without seeking treatment and return home on foot.
Over the last five years we have been offered the ‘One Life Center’ as an appeasement, to a minority this has been adequate but to the majority it has been highly inadequate. We all know someone who has a horror story to tell, some inform us of misdiagnosis and being sent home with broken bones, others tell of being stranded in North Tees Hospital at 3am unable to get home after being transferred to North Tees just to be sent home without any treatment.
To answer the question "How did we get here" the answer is blunt and many people may dislike the answer, but to put it simply "We got here because people either didn't care, thought it would never happen or just couldn't be bothered to do anything about it". Well we care, we want you to care and we want the services we rightly deserve to be returned back to the area and community where they are needed the most.
What this means to you and me?
How it affects us all
Sometimes when people say “not a lot of people know this” it is used incorrectly, not in this case. We at N.E.E.D (North East Empowerment & Diversity) have discovered that the majority of residents within Hartlepool and the surrounding areas ‘Don’t’ realise that their local Hospital has now become a shadow of it’s former self. Unfortunately people only become aware when trying to access a service which is no longer available, or they are sitting in a ward recovering alone because their family members cannot travel to see them.
It all sounds like doom and gloom, which it really is, the only shining light in this abysmal quagmire is the NHS Staff who are constantly battling to maintain a high standard of service in a wholly inadequate situation. At school we are taught to count but in this case the sums don’t seem to add up! How is it possible to treat two demographic areas in a Hospital which was only designed for one? We are now feeling the strain of this predicament as more and more services are being transferred elsewhere and further afield, so instead of traveling to North Tees we are now having to travel 15 miles to Middlesbrough and in some cases 32 miles to the RVI.
As it stands the only people to benefit from these changes are the members of the NHS board who are left mopping up the after effects of the failed Wynard Development. This leaves the people of Hartelpool evermore secluded and in dire need for the return of Hartlepool Hospital back to its former glory.
So to everyone out there we give you permission to say to the next person you meet, “not many people know this, but Hartlepool Hospital…”
The emphasis is now on all of us, if we care we should make our feelings known!