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NHS bosses say services transferred for 'safety and quality'

Medical director for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust Dr David Emerton, who is also a consultant in accident and emergency, said:

We totally respect people’s right to protest about issues which concern them. However we would like to emphasise that the centralisation of services at the University Hospital of North Tees was driven by our clinicians, is fully supported by our commissioners and was done purely for reasons of safety and quality.

What was acceptable in terms of clinical practice in the health service 10 or even five years ago is no longer acceptable because medicine has moved on. We have to ensure our services can meet the higher standards now expected.

– Dr David Emeron, Medical director for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

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Campaigners march against Hartlepool hospital cuts

Campaigners gather at Seaton Carew Credit: ITV

Hundreds of campaigners have gathered in protest against the reduction of services at Hartlepool General Hospital.

It forms part of a long-running hospital saga, in which key services were transferred to Stockton and a proposed new hospital at Wynyard was delayed.

The protesters are marching from Seaton Carew to Hartlepool this morning.

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Hartlepool MP: 'It's not OK for a rapist to play football'

The MP for Hartlepool, Iain Wright, said he hoped his club did not sign the convicted rapist Ched Evans - as it would send completely the wrong message to other young men.

"I really hope we don't. I love my club, I love Hartlepool United. There's a reason why no other team in the Football League wants to sign him - he is a pariah.

"I was at the match today. There were lots of young lads there supporting Hartlepool United. I just think it sends out such a wrong message to young men in terms of it being OK for a rapist to play football.

"It's entirely wrong."

– Iain Wright MP, Labour, Hartlepool

Hartlepool United's new manager Ronnie Moore has said he would like to sign Ched Evans, and that it is a 'possibility'.

Hartlepool manager would like to sign Ched Evans

Hartlepool United's manager Ronnie Moore has said he would like to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans.

Ched Evans on the pitch for his former club Sheffield United in 2012 Credit: PA

Former Sheffield United and Wales striker Evans had an offer to train with his former club retracted last month following strong local opposition to the proposal.

But Moore, who took over as boss of the bottom club in the Football League this week, has confirmed he could look to bring in 25-year-old Evans. He said after today's 1-1 home draw with Oxford: "It's a possibility.

"If it could happen, I would want it to happen. He is a proven scorer; he's served his time and the boy wants to play football.

"If there is a chance he might come here, I don't see any reason why he shouldn't.

"He has made a mistake and maybe he hasn't apologised in the right way - and I know he has an appeal case pending - but if he gets on the park, he would go along way to getting us out of trouble."

Hartlepool United taken over

Troubled times: Chairman Ken Hodcroft and his company have sold their controlling stake in Hartlepool United to a company called TMH 2014. Credit: PA
The club is bottom of League Two with just 12 points in 20 games. Credit: PA

Hartlepool United has this afternoon been taken over.

Pools sacked manager Paul Murray earlier this month after just 44 days in charge following their FA cup defeat to Blyth Spartans.

The club is also bottom of League Two with just 12 points in 20 games.

Chairman Ken Hodcroft and his company have sold their controlling stake to a company called TMH 2014.

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