Doctors at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust are reminding people to phone 999 if they have serious chest pain that could be a heart attack.
The reminder comes after doctors became concerned that patients have arrived at the cardiac investigations unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool with serious chest pain.
Staff in the unit have been able to stabilise the patient while an ambulance is called to take them to the most appropriate hospital.
However Dr Vineet Wadehra, a consultant cardiologist at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “Since 2005, patients with certain types of heart attack have been taken directly to the cardiology unit at The James Cook University Hospital for immediate emergency treatment.
“Patients experiencing other types of heart attack have been taken to accident and emergency at the University Hospital of North Tees. This initial assessment to determine the type of heart attack must be done by the highly trained staff in the ambulance service and treatment will also be started at the scene.
“People experiencing chest pain must never drive themselves to hospital or assume going to the nearest place will give them the best outcome.
“We want people to get to the right team, first time so their chance of survival and a good recovery is maximised. Every minute counts.”