Hospital services ‘not earmarked for transfer to York’

Scarborough Hospital meeting at Scarborough Library'The packed concert hall at the library.'Picture by Neil Silk  130243b'11/01/13

Scarborough Hospital meeting at Scarborough Library'The packed concert hall at the library.'Picture by Neil Silk 130243b'11/01/13

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Scarborough Hospital’s chief executive told a packed public meeting that not having a 24/7 accident and emergency service in the town would be “inconceivable”.

Patrick Crowley, of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, also told the 200-strong audience at Scarborough Library on Friday that “there is no such thing as a list of services earmarked for transfer to York”.

Scarborough Hospital meeting at Scarborough Library'Leo McGrory,standing sets out the point of the meeting.'Picture by Neil Silk  130243a'11/01/13

Scarborough Hospital meeting at Scarborough Library'Leo McGrory,standing sets out the point of the meeting.'Picture by Neil Silk 130243a'11/01/13

The meeting was called by patient spokesman Leo McGrory, of the Scarborough and District Local Involvement Network (LINK), after a document was leaked at the end of last year suggesting that services were at risk.

Mr Crowley said he hoped to give reassurances about the future of Scarborough Hospital and spoke about recent investment at the site, totalling millions of pounds.

He commented: “York Hospital is very overcrowded and it’s inconceivable that we’d look to centralise services in York from Scarborough.

“However, we’re looking for leadership from the clinical team on how we can provide a better service, which may lead to changes.”

Mr McGrory said he had called the meeting after being approached by “countless” members of the public, who were concerned about the potential loss of services.

He said: “We understand that they were only proposals, but it has caused a lot of anxiety and stress to local people.”

Mr McGrory added that many people speak very highly of the services and staff at Scarborough Hospital and thanked workers on behalf of the public.

Speaking of the merger between York and Scarborough health trusts, which happened in July last year, Patrick Crowley said it had never been their intention to move services to York.

He explained: “We firmly believe that it’s in the interest of the whole of North Yorkshire - not just Scarborough - that we have the highest quality services in Scarborough.

“Integration on July 1 was to ensure there was a future for services in Scarborough.”

Mr Crowley added: “When Leo said he was shocked at seeing the proposals about cuts in services, he wasn’t as shocked as I was.

“We’re not looking at any fundamental or radical change of direction.”

He explained that the list of possible cuts, leaked from consultants KPMG, was just a list of rough ideas that had now been scrapped.

Mike Proctor, deputy chief executive of York trust, listed a number of recent investments made in Scarborough and Bridlington, including £400,000 on mammography, the recruitment of consultants in areas such as A&E, paediatrics and neurology, and a £900,000 CT scanner, which is due to arrive at Scarborough in May.

He said: “The are some really positive things happening in Scarborough, which will continue.”

However, uncertainty still remains about how Scarborough will fare when a list of possible cutbacks is given to NHS North Yorkshire and York primary care trust on January 22.

The trust has to address a deficit of £19m.

Funding

Funding - or lack of it - has always been an issue for Scarborough Hospital.

Over recent years, figures have shown that Scarborough is often bottom of the list when it comes to funding per patient in North Yorkshire.

However, during Friday night’s meeting, new figures were revealed which show that fairer funding is hopefully on its way.

Robert Goodwill read out a document stating that Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will receive £1,279 per patient, compared to £1,074 for the Vale of York.

He said: “It looks like we get the best deal in North Yorkshire for 2013/14.”

Patient spokesman Leo McGrory said: “This is the only time I’ve ever seen us do quite well.”

Scarborough’s local commissioning group will have a budget of £ £145.7m, but will face a £2.4m debt when it comes into force in April.