Consultation begins on Friarage services

A protest march held in Northallerton in May last year to save the services at the Friarage hospital. (gl 3789)
A protest march held in Northallerton in May last year to save the services at the Friarage hospital. (gl 3789)
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A major public consultation has been launched on proposed changes to maternity and children’s services at the Friarage Hospital.

NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are worried doctors at the Northallerton hospital will not be able to retain clinical skills and develop new ones because not enough mums-to-be and children use the services.

Dr Vicky Pleydell, chief clinical officer for the CCG, said: “Over the last year we’ve been working hard to find the best possible solutions which offer the highest quality of care, as well as taking into account the needs of local people now and in the future.”

The two options being considered in the consultation, launched today (September 2) and ending on November 25, are:

lOption one: developing a Paediatric Short Stay Assessment Unit (PSSAU) at the Friarage Hospital, continuing to deliver community paediatric nursing and a consultant paediatric outpatient service at the Friarage, investing in a midwifery-led maternity unit (MLU) for women with low-risk births at the hospital, and continuing to provide community midwifery and outpatient services locally.

lOption two: continuing to deliver community paediatric nursing and a consultant paediatric outpatient service at the Friarage Hospital, investing in a midwifery-led maternity unit (MLU) for women with low-risk births at the hospital, and continuing to provide community midwifery and outpatient services locally.

A consultation document setting out the proposal is avialable at www.hambletonrichmondshireandwhitbyccg.nhs.uk

It is also being circulated to family doctors’ surgeries, children’s centres and other community venues.

Public meetings on the proposals take place at Thirsk Race Course on Wednesday, September 18, at 7pm, Hambleton Forum in Northallerton on Saturday, September 28, at 10.30am, Masham Methodist Church on Thursday, October 3, at 7pm, and Bedale Hall on Monday, October 14, at 7pm.