A strategic health authority has backed a new £464m hospital planned for Teesside.
The new development, proposed for Wynyard Park, has been supported by North East SHA.
An outline business plan was presented by North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust and approved.
The hospital aims to provide care closer to home for people in Hartlepool, Stockton and parts of Easington and Sedgefield.
Plans include the development of three integrated health centres in Hartlepool, Stockton and Billingham and enhanced GP facilities in Yarm.
The care centres would provide a range of community services as well as traditional hospital services, such as outpatient procedures and diagnostic tests.
In addition, minor injury facilities would be developed at Hartlepool and Stockton.
NHS North East acting chief executive David Stout said: “Our aim is to deliver the very best healthcare for people of the North East in the most accessible, safe and high quality environments - both in the community and in hospital.
“We are happy that the proposals from North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust will help to ensure the very best health service and access to care for local people.”
Last month Hartlepool borough council approved outline planning permission for the new hospital site at Wynyard.
The case for the hospital will now be considered by the Department of Health.