AN MP is supporting a shake-up to the healthcare system which could see an increasingly ageing population treated at home instead of in decrepit community hospitals.

NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched a public consultation on services for the elderly, vulnerable and patients with chronic ill health.

People are admitted to hospital more often in the South Tees region, covering Middlesbrough, Guisborough and Redcar) than in other parts of the UK due to a lack of outreach support.

Almost £2m was spent last year on empty space across four community hospitals in the area which are too old to be sustainable in the future.

As part of its proposals the CCG is wanting to invest in stroke rehabilitation and community stroke teams to care for people at home.

Dr Vincent Connolly, consultant at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We need to ensure that health and social care services work together in a more joined-up way to provide more help for elderly people in their own communities.”

MP for Middlesbrough, Andy McDonald, said: “With 18 per cent of South Tees population already over 65, and that set to increase to around 22 per cent by 2021, we are right to focus our attentions on the health needs of our ageing local population.”

“I met with the CCG last week and they are making a positive case for change in the way health services are planned and managed for elderly patients. Not only is this timely it is imperative.”

Five public drop in events are being held across the South Tees area in June and July before the consultation ends on Thursday, July 31. For details or to fill out an online questionnaire visit