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Public urged to attend new Friarage meeting
4:56pm Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
THE public are being given a say on whether plans to downgrade children’s services at one of the region’s major hospitals should be referred to the Government.
The county’s scrutiny of health committee is holding a special meeting later this month to discuss the latest proposals regarding the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.
And the public are being urged to attend to express their opinions before the committee decides whether to refer the issue to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
It is currently proposed to reduce maternity and child health services at the Friarage - and calls for the retention of the existing consultant-led services have been rejected.
The NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group has also decided to postpone the official public consultation on its plans pending the outcome of a referral.
Committee chairman Jim Clark said: “We are extremely disappointed at this postponement.
“If the committee does decide to refer the issue, it will be because of its concerns about the impact on the residents of North Yorkshire of the reduction in services which we consider to be essential.”
He added: “We do acknowledge that there are issues involving these services at the Friarage which need to be resolved. Our concerns do not arise from a desire to be obstructive.
“But we are talking about essential services which are of enormous benefit to people who live in a large, mainly rural, sparsely-populated area, and it is vital that we do what we can to protect them.”
The special meeting will be held at the Allerton Court Hotel, Northallerton, at 7pm on November 22.