This letter was written in response to one printed in the Gazette on 2nd December but has not been published so I am reproducing it here for your information.
Re Sick of this hospital mantra (2nd December), I welcome the opportunity that Terry Chapman has afforded to set the record straight on what my views are concerning health services at North Tees hospital.
He says that I want to see North Tees closed. That is not true. What I want is for the people of our area to have access to the top quality health care they need and deserve.
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat Government has had North Tees and Hartlepool hospitals dangling on a string for nearly five years, falling behind in terms of technology and facilities, treading water when they could each have been investing in much needed improvements and enhancing services. It is rubbish for Tory James Wharton MP to say he's sticking up for the NHS; he has ensured that our health services have fallen even further behind, with units closing, longer waiting times and the lowest ever morale amongst health workers. His party is, at least for now, still in Government and he should say exactly how he intends to bring our local NHS services up to the best standards of the 21st century.
If Labour win the next general election we will seek a solution which is clinically based and which commands broad public support from across all the communities involved.
Labour and Co-operative Party Parliamentary Candidate for Stockton South