Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Choices for New Hospital; EXCLUSIVE

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Choices for New Hospital; EXCLUSIVE

Article excerpt

A NEW super-hospital for Teesside is to be built on one of two sites less than a mile apart, the Evening Gazette can reveal.

The public will now get its say on which of the locations - Wynyard or Wolviston - would be best for the proposed pounds 416m development.

The state-of-the-art facility would replace the University Hospital of North Tees and the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

The first patients could be admitted as early as 2013.

The short-listed sites at Wynyard Business Park and Green Farm, Wolviston, came out top in an independent assessment of ten potential locations across the North Tees area.

The assessment by land agents DTZ took into account a range of criteria including accessibility, acquisition cost and potential for expansion.

The land currently occupied by both existing hospitals at Hartlepool and Stockton proved far less favourable in these areas, and as a result they both occupy joint last place in the assessment's findings.

Other sites now also out of the running include Queens Meadow Business Park and Golden Flatts in Hartlepool, as well as Portrack Lane and the North Shore in Stockton.

Stockton North MP Frank Cook, said: "If I were to express a choice I would simply choose the site which straddles the boundary most fairly and effectively."

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright said: "My understanding is that the Green Farm site is adjacent to a conservation area around Wolviston, and I would have thought that that would have imposed constraints.

"My starting point is the provision of health services within Hartlepool.

"I remain committed to seeing health services retained within the town and people treated within the community."

The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is now preparing to launch a three-month consultation when residents from the Stockton, Hartlepool, Easington and Sedgefield will be asked for their views.

The decision to close the hospitals at North Tees and Hartlepool has not been without its fair share of criticism, however. …

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