A NORTH-EAST MP has reignited a plea for the creation of a new hospital which would help address "significant" health issues within his constituency.

Labour MP for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham made the claims as he highlighted that the town had 'higher than average' heart and respiratory problems.

Mr Cunningham, who was re-elected in December, said men in the Stockton Town Centre ward lived sixteen years less than men living in the Prime Minister Boris Johnson's London constituency.

On Wednesday, he revealed he had secured a meeting with the Health Minister Matt Hancock and members of the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust to discuss the future of the University Hospital of North Tees.

He said: “People in our area suffer from significant health issues and the gap between health inequalities in Stockton compared to places such as Uxbridge and South Ruislip are far too wide. That’s why I continue to champion the need for a new fit for purpose hospital."

Mr Cunningham had previously slammed the government's decision to shelve plans for a 'super hospital' on the doorstep of his constituency in Wynyard, near Stockton.

If created, the hospital would have replaced North Tees hospital and University Hospital of Hartlepool with one major site.

Mr Cunningham said: “A new hospital would not be the solution to all Stockton’s health problems but it would be an important step in addressing them.

"It would see vast amount of funding out into local health care and act as a catalyst to attract more clinicians, more doctors, and more nurses.

“I’m pleased the Minister has agreed to meet with me and Health Trust representatives and will press for confirmation on when this will happen – I hope these efforts will prove fruitful in Stockton moving one step closer to getting the hospital our area needs.”

'I will fight to transform Hartlepool'

Last night, the Conservative Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen told The Northern Echo that the North-East deserved a 'first-class' health service as he confirmed he had written to the government asking for powers needed to take control of services in the region.

He said: “I can understand the anger and despair of people in Hartlepool who have seen services stripped away from their hospital over the last few years.

"There is a sign at Victoria Park that says ‘Poolies are born not made’, but unfortunately, because of short sighted decision making, next to no babies are born in Hartlepool anymore.

"I will fight to transform Hartlepool into a centre of excellence for healthcare services, including making it a UK lead in elective and orthopaedic care.

"Those in London are too remote from our area to clearly understand the needs and requirements of local people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

"We must have a good quality of life and we should not have to settle for second best when it comes to healthcare.”

'The NHS is getting the biggest cash boost in history'

Conservative MP for Stockton South, Matt Vickers, whose consitituents rely on the University Hospital of North Tees, said: "Since being elected I’ve had very valuable discussions with Julie Gillon (Chief Executive of North Tees Trust) ministers and importantly the Secretary of State about the challenges facing our local hospital and wider NHS provision within our area. 

"The NHS is getting the biggest cash boost in it’s history and I’m determined to ensure we get our fair share of that here in Stockton.

"We must make best use of this additional resource and work with local partners to tackle health inequalities.

"We have some amazing doctors, nurses and staff in our NHS and we’ve got to make sure they have the support and resources they need.

I look forward to meeting with the Trust’ Chief Executive, Minister and my neighbouring colleague to look how this can be delivered and I’ll continue to maintain a dialogue with the Secretary of State."