Doctor shortage leads to North Tees Hospital cancer unit closure

North Tees Hospital Image copyright NTHFT
Image caption The North Tees hospital unit deals with about 20 patients a week

A shortage of trained consultants has led to the closure of an inpatient cancer treatment unit on Teesside.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said the haematology unit at Stockton's North Tees Hospital would be phased out by November.

The eight-bed unit treats about 20 patients a week with a variety of blood diseases, including leukaemia.

The trust said it expected affected patients to be treated at hospitals in Middlesbrough and Sunderland.

Dr David Emerton, medical director of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: "In the past few years we have been unable to recruit the number of consultants we need to meet the complex needs of patients requiring care as an inpatient.

"Patients currently in our unit will continue to be looked after there, but we are in discussions with the hospitals north and south of us to ensure that any new patients can be admitted to hospitals near to their home."

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