ARE the doomsayers being proved wrong?

Recent news from Northallerton suggests that the future of the Friarage Hospital could be a little rosier than many of the cynics believe.

For several years it has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons, in particular over its maternity and paediatric services and the closure of rehab beds.

And rumours over the hospital’s future, in social media and on the street, have predicted nothing but gloom.

But moves are now afoot to create a £10m cancer centre at the hospital, a state-of-the-art development on which work could start this summer if planning approval is given.

Jointly funded by philanthropist Sir Robert Ogden with the cancer support charity Macmillan, it will have a wide range of facilities for patients, carers and their relatives – and the plan has been developed in tandem with the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The centre will include a chemotherapy treatment lounge, complementary therapy facilities and accommodation.

It is not the sort of investment one would expect to see in an establishment that, as some claim, could have an uncertain future and can only be welcomed by all those who want to see services secured.

Coming in the wake of a hugely successful campaign to install a £2m MRI scanner at the Friarage and a recent £95,000 investment in new lung services it has to be seen as a confidence booster.

We hope the doomsayers are being proved wrong – but in this era of shrinking budgets only time will tell.