Hospital merger on track for July 1

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SCARBOROUGH Hospital’s chief executive has confirmed the exact date that the trust is due to merge with York.

During a public meeting at Bridlington Spa, Mike Proctor said the process is due to be completed on July 1 - three months later than the original deadline of April 1.

Work on the acquisition of the Scarborough trust by the York trust has been in progress since last year.

Mr Proctor explained that a series of meetings with bodies such as the Co-operation and Competition Panel, Monitor and the local Primary Care Trust – who all work to their own deadlines in making decisions about the acquisition – had caused the delay.

He also told residents about improvements at the trust, which include the hospital’s new red socks initiative which helps staff identify patients who cannot walk safely on their own; a £50,000 insulation scheme to reduce energy bills; the introduction of the James Martin food menu at Bridlington Hospital and changes to how follow-up appointments are booked.

Mr Proctor told attendees that a new call centre system would allow patients to book their own appointments instead of being told when to arrive – which he hoped would reduce the patient “do not attend” rate from between eight and nine per cent to between two and three per cent.

Mr Proctor and director of operations Liz Booth asked patients to “bear with” them while they implement and perfect the new system.

The new system, which is called “follow-up partial booking”, has been in use for some time at York Hospital and has proved successful.

Scarborough and York are set to become one combined “Foundation Trust”, which means that the organisation and its members will have more say in how it is run. The wheels were set in motion to merge the two trusts when bosses decided that Scarborough would not be able to achieve Foundation Trust status on its own.

Mr Proctor has reassured patients that services will stay local in Scarborough.