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North Yorkshire Councillors Consider Objection to NHS Cuts


7:12pm 12th December 2012

Councillors in North Yorkshire are to consider making a formal protest over plans for wide-ranging cuts in health services in the county.

Members of the county council will next week vote on a strongly-worded motion calling for no reduction in the breadth or quality of services provided by the NHS North Yorkshire and York.

The motion, to be proposed by County Councillor Jim Clark, Chairman of the Scrutiny of Health Committee, and seconded by his deputy, County Councillor John Blackie, reflects the dismay felt across the political spectrum in North Yorkshire over the proposals.

It reads: "This Council, whilst acknowledging the financial issues facing the NHS North Yorkshire & York, considers there is no room to reduce the healthcare services currently provided to meet the immediate, urgent and unplanned needs of its local residents and its visitors, and expects 24/7 consultant-led Accident & Emergency Services, 24/ 7 consultant-led maternity and children's services, and the opening days and hours of minor injuries units to remain at the level currently provided at the various District General Hospitals and Community Hospitals in the County of North Yorkshire."

The county council first became concerned about the consequences of funding cuts in the NHS when proposals were announced for the ending of consultant-led paediatric and maternity services at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.

Since then, further proposals affecting hospitals in other parts of the county – including Scarborough, Harrogate, Malton and Easingwold – have come to light.

“There is now a serious threat to the quality of health provision across North Yorkshire,” said Councillor Clark.  “These changes are the biggest in the history of the NHS in North Yorkshire, and if they are implemented the result will be an unacceptable reduction in the quality and availability of health care for thousands of people.”

The Scrutiny of Health Committee has a statutory duty to monitor changes in health services, and to ensure that everything possible is done to maintain standards of quality and availability.

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