A PUBLIC meeting is being held in Scarborough next week to discuss proposals to reorganise vascular services in the area.
The meeting, which is part of the ongoing public consultation, will be held in the sports hall at the Falsgrave Community Resource Centre on Wednesday, starting at 11am.
Vascular services cover a wide range of health matters relating to the blood vessels and circulation.
As part of proposals outlined by the region’s Primary Care Trusts, patients with vascular conditions who need complex and emergency care would receive treatment at one of seven dedicated hospitals - Hull, York, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Doncaster or Huddersfield.
Chris Welsh, medical director of NHS Yorkshire and Humber, said: “The changes we are proposing are based on international evidence of best practice and will ensure everyone in the region receives the very best care available, improving patients’ chances of survival and ensuring all patients have equal access to the latest technologies and treatments.
“Specialising services at specific hospitals in the region will enable doctors to maintain their expert clinical skills better as they perform more operations regularly.”
Simon Cox, NHS North Yorkshire and York’s Locality Director for Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale, added: “The proposals being discussed would see a change in the way some people in North Yorkshire access services and as such it is vital that we get the views of local people and allow them to discuss any concerns they may have.”
Hospital-based specialist vascular teams would also change, working closer together as one of four sub regional services.
Scarborough trust is battling an historic debt, £12 million of which has been “parked” or put to one side temporarily, and £8 million of which is currently being paid back to the department of health in instalments of £2 million a year.
Five years ago the Evening News delivered a 13,000-strong petition to 10 Downing Street when Scarborough Hospital came under threat, with the York trust targeting some services in Scarborough as it hoped to gain foundation status.
The proposals are part of a plan to rearrange the way vascular services are provided across the region, but have raised particular concerns for Scarborough in the light of moves for the trust to link up with York.
It is expected that around 10 per cent of people who require a vascular operation - 1,500 patients per year - would need to travel to a different hospital for surgery.
The move is being billed by the primary care trust as a way of improving patients’ chances of survival. The NHS says it believes patients will benefit as teams managing their care would be able to learn from each other and share best practice.
But concerns have been raised that without specialist services, Scarborough could struggle to attract younger consultants and quality and experience could be lost. The consultation, which ends next Friday, followed a review of existing services carried out by NHS Yorkshire and the Humber Specialised Commissioning Group.