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Campaigners concern over timing of Northallerton hospital announcement
CAMPAIGNERS are concerned over the way in which a hugely significant proposal on the future of services at a North Yorkshire hospital is to be released.
The NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinicial Commissioning Group (CCG) is to announce its final recommendations for children’s and maternity services at the Friarage, in Northallerton , online at 5pm on Tuesday, September 11, ahead of a public meeting on September 17.
The CCG has been carrying out an extensive review over the past few months, including informal consultations with communities in Hambleton, Richmondshire and parts of the North York Moors.
It is looking at downgrading consultant- led children and maternity services and extending patient care at The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough.
A midwife-led maternity unit and children’s day unit would be maintained at the Friarage.
The recommendations arising from the review will be released online next week at hambletonrichmondshireandwhitbyccg.nhs.uk
Councillor John Blackie, who has been involved in the campaign against services being downgraded, said: “It seems to me that choice of time has been chosen to supress the circulation of this information.
It will be at a time when it is most inconvenient to access it. It reduces the immediate impact of the information they have to convey.
“It is worrying that they should choose such an inconvenient time. It will prevent considerable commentary in the media.”
Coun Blackie has submitted a request to have the decision discussed in a public meeting at the North Yorkshire County Council’s Shadow Health and Well-being Board on Friday, September 14, at County Hall, Northallerton.
The board has been put in place by the new arrangements for the NHS and is chaired by the leader of the county council, John Weighell, and has many key members of NHS health and social care groups for the area.
Coun Blackie represents the seven district and borough councils in North Yorkshire on the board.
The CCG says the release of the information on September 11 is to allow the public a chance to see what is being proposed before the public meeting in Hambleton Forum, Northallerton, on September 17, which will run from 10am until noon.
There will be a 20-minute question-and-answer session first, but questions need to be submitted beforehand to firstname.lastname@example.org .
After the meeting, the recommendations will be taken to the board of NHS North Yorkshire and York for approval on September 25. If major changes are approved, a formal public consultation period will begin.
Nobody from the CCG was available for comment.