Commenting on the Care Quality Commission’s report that care services at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust requires improvement, Alex Cunningham, Labour MP for Stockton North, said:
“It is disappointing that the Trust, which has consistently done well during inspections, now finds themselves with this kind of result though it is worth noting that 65 of the 85 service areas inspected were considered to be “good” or better.
“I know there will be no-one more disappointed with today’s report than the Trust itself and I am sure they will have already recognised the critical need for an immediate action plan to address the issues around leadership and service effectiveness.
“From personal experience, I know the tremendous pressures being faced by the Trust – trying to cope not just with huge cuts in their budgets but also the inability to attract clinical staff to key areas resulting in a reduction or end to some services. Haematology was lost over 12 months ago while couples are now being forced to seek fertility services elsewhere in the region simply because the Trust can’t get the staff they need.
“Sadly, the two hospitals, whilst doing their best to deliver for our communities, are very much dated and are not as attractive an option for clinical staff as new complexes elsewhere. The Government’s decision to axe plans for a new hospital and instead patch up North Tees has to be a major contributory factor.”