PLANS are being drawn up for new health care services on a Hartlepool estate following the closure of a doctor's surgery.

In April, the Primary Care Trust (PCT) agreed to allow the closure of Dr Patel's branch surgery, in Wynyard Road, on the Owton Manor estate.

The closure was allowed only on the grounds that the PCT could provide an alternative service.

The PCT may take over the lease on the practice and a range of options is being considered that may include providing clinical services from the premises.

A report to the health and social care scrutiny forum of Hartlepool Borough Council from the PCT said: "The current Owton Rossmere Centre has the capacity to accommodate a range of primary care clinics.

"Skilled practitioners will provide services that meet the health needs of the local population. Patients will be able to access these services in the coming weeks.

"A recent recruitment drive has attracted a number of GPs who will potentially be employed by the PCT and will be appointed in August.

"The PCT has also successfully extended the minor ailment scheme to allow for patients to be treated by local pharmacists for a wide range of minor illnesses. This scheme is having a noticeable impact on patients requiring a GP appointment.

"This represents first steps towards working differently in an effort to provide services to a needy community."