NHS bosses deny claims that Darlington A&E is at risk of closure

CLOSURE CLAIMS: Darlington Memorial Hospital Accident & Emergency

CLOSURE CLAIMS: Darlington Memorial Hospital Accident & Emergency

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Darlington reporter

BOSSES at an NHS hospital trust have denied there are any plans to close one of its accident and emergency departments after a petition calling for the facility to be ‘saved’ was circulated in the area.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said the A&E department at Darlington Memorial Hospital is in the process of being extended to provide extra urgent care services and serves thousands of people each year.

The trust made its statement in response to a petition by Darlington man Nigel Boddy, who claims spending patterns by the NHS in Teesside and County Durham suggest that the region could eventually be left with one A&E department, at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough.

Mr Boddy’s petition was attacked by members of Darlington Borough Council’s health scrutiny committee, who described it as “scaremongering” and said they had been contacted by a number of residents frightened for the future of their local hospital.

Councillor Heather Scott said: “We have to explode this myth, the A&E department is not at risk. This petition is scaremongering and people are getting really worried about it.”

Mr Boddy denied his petition was scaremongering and said he was raising concerns that he had heard people discuss privately in a public way.

He added: “I hope what the hospital trust and the councillors are saying is correct, but I’m very much afraid that they are not.

“This is about the future of hospital services – you can wait for the axe to fall or try to raise the issue.

“No-one hopes more than me that I am wrong but I am put in mind of the promises that were made about the future of Hartlepool A&E 15 years ago and that has now gone.”

The foundation trust plans to extend the A&E department at the Memorial Hospital to provide both emergency and urgent care services in the same facility.

Urgent care services, for minor injuries and illnesses that do not require emergency treatment, are already provided at the hospital between 8pm and 6am, with planning underway to reconfigure the A&E department to offer the service full time.

Sue Jacques, chief executive of the foundation trust, said: “We continue to invest in Darlington Memorial Hospital.

“In recent years, we have spent around £30m including infrastructure renewal, intensive care and a refurbished outpatients department, as well as in A&E.

“In the North-East, we are lucky to have specialist regional centres of the calibre of the Newcastle hospitals and James Cook where major trauma cases, including head injuries, are treated.

“However, our communities still need quality emergency and urgent care more locally, although how these are provided may change based on best practice, local needs and the best outcomes for patients.”

Comments (6)

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8:22am Wed 3 Sep 14

johnty says...

if there is going to be a closure of Darlington's memorial hospital it means that like myself people will not go to a+e when they are ill they will wait till the last minute. what a lot of people forget is a lot of people do not have their own transport and getting to James cook from where I live means catching a min of 3 buses each way and only knows how much time involved for my wife to get from newton aycliffe to Darlington memorial if I am ill and admitted she has to set off at just before noon to get there in time for afternoon visiting sometimes an hour then retrace her steps back I for one will be refusing to go to another a+e as I think of my wife travelling those vast distances and what about the people living in the dales?
if there is going to be a closure of Darlington's memorial hospital it means that like myself people will not go to a+e when they are ill they will wait till the last minute. what a lot of people forget is a lot of people do not have their own transport and getting to James cook from where I live means catching a min of 3 buses each way and only knows how much time involved for my wife to get from newton aycliffe to Darlington memorial if I am ill and admitted she has to set off at just before noon to get there in time for afternoon visiting sometimes an hour then retrace her steps back I for one will be refusing to go to another a+e as I think of my wife travelling those vast distances and what about the people living in the dales? johnty
  • Score: 7

12:17pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Homshaw1 says...

If it's not true it's not an issue.
If it's not true it's not an issue. Homshaw1
  • Score: 12

3:14pm Wed 3 Sep 14

roblatch says...

i wouldn't hold my breath, exactly the same was said about bishop auckland a&e ! wheres it at now? the same as hartlepool and many others across the country CLOSED
i wouldn't hold my breath, exactly the same was said about bishop auckland a&e ! wheres it at now? the same as hartlepool and many others across the country CLOSED roblatch
  • Score: 6

6:54pm Thu 4 Sep 14

oliviaden6 says...

Denial is always the first line of defence by the NHS bosses then they strike and start to run down the place and all sorts of dirty tricks so they can close it. It is wrong Darlington A&E is a vital resource that is needed by all the community both Old and Young.
Denial is always the first line of defence by the NHS bosses then they strike and start to run down the place and all sorts of dirty tricks so they can close it. It is wrong Darlington A&E is a vital resource that is needed by all the community both Old and Young. oliviaden6
  • Score: 2

2:51am Fri 5 Sep 14

SirLance says...

johnty wrote:
if there is going to be a closure of Darlington's memorial hospital it means that like myself people will not go to a+e when they are ill they will wait till the last minute. what a lot of people forget is a lot of people do not have their own transport and getting to James cook from where I live means catching a min of 3 buses each way and only knows how much time involved for my wife to get from newton aycliffe to Darlington memorial if I am ill and admitted she has to set off at just before noon to get there in time for afternoon visiting sometimes an hour then retrace her steps back I for one will be refusing to go to another a+e as I think of my wife travelling those vast distances and what about the people living in the dales?
Johnty: By the looks of things regarding transport to hospital i would suggest you get only one bus to Marks and Spencer's in Darlington, fall down complaining of injury and a helicopter will be along to take you in a few minutes!
[quote][p][bold]johnty[/bold] wrote: if there is going to be a closure of Darlington's memorial hospital it means that like myself people will not go to a+e when they are ill they will wait till the last minute. what a lot of people forget is a lot of people do not have their own transport and getting to James cook from where I live means catching a min of 3 buses each way and only knows how much time involved for my wife to get from newton aycliffe to Darlington memorial if I am ill and admitted she has to set off at just before noon to get there in time for afternoon visiting sometimes an hour then retrace her steps back I for one will be refusing to go to another a+e as I think of my wife travelling those vast distances and what about the people living in the dales?[/p][/quote]Johnty: By the looks of things regarding transport to hospital i would suggest you get only one bus to Marks and Spencer's in Darlington, fall down complaining of injury and a helicopter will be along to take you in a few minutes! SirLance
  • Score: 1

11:33am Thu 25 Sep 14

The Love Slug says...

I dont like this last line.......

“However, our communities still need quality emergency and urgent care more locally, although how these are provided may change based on best practice, local needs and the best outcomes for patients.”
I dont like this last line....... “However, our communities still need quality emergency and urgent care more locally, although how these are provided may change based on best practice, local needs and the best outcomes for patients.” The Love Slug
  • Score: 2

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