Jenny Chapman MP

JENNY CHAPMAN

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End the hospital rumours

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Jenny has demanded that the public should be told whether there is any truth in rumours that some departments at Darlington Memorial Hospital will be downgraded.

Staff at the hospital have told her about recent meetings to discuss the future of the A&E, intensive care and maternity units. But other sources have denied this.

The Northern Echo claims to have been contacted by a member of staff who said he had been told that the A&E department was to close. A spokeswoman for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said she was unaware of any such plans.

Jenny now wants an urgent meeting with hospital managers. She said: "It's unfair on the community, but mostly it's unfair on the staff to leave them in this position because they don't know about the future of the services and they're worried about their jobs.

"I think it's an unacceptable situation. I appreciate the Trust may have a process to go through before it wants to make an official statement, but it is not right to take this long. I think what we need is some clearer information from the organisations involved about what is going to happen."

And she added: "The uncertainty is damaging public confidence, it's damaging staff morale and it's having an effect on recruitment and retention of staff and we just need some clarity so we know what the position is.

"The problem is that I don't know how much of this is accurate. I'm left not knowing what to believe."

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