Patients asked to consider proposals to help keep the local NHS sustainable

Scarborough Hospital
Scarborough Hospital

Health leaders in Scarborough are set to ask residents: “What changes to services and prescribing policy would be acceptable to help keep our local NHS sustainable”?

NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will share details of the difficulties facing the local health economy with residents at an open meeting in Scarborough – along with options to help meet those challenges.

The public meetings will take place at Council Chamber at Scarborough Town Hall tonight from 6pm to 8pm.

Residents will be presented with a number of measures to reduce local NHS spending and asked to decide which of the options NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG should consider further in an effort to recover the financial position from the £1.6 million deficit recorded in 2016-17.

NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG Chief Officer, Simon Cox, said: “We have a duty to deliver a balanced budget. Last year we were unable to do that and as a result, NHS England placed us into a Capped Expenditure Programme, along with NHS Vale of York CCG and York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

“Over the last six months we have been working with NHS England and NHS Improvement on plans to recover our financial position, while cementing the sustainability of local health services and ensuring we can fulfil our obligations to patients.

“As part of our commitment to openness and transparency, we want to share those plans as they stand and have an honest conversation with residents about local health finances and what this will mean for future healthcare provision in Scarborough and Ryedale.

“Change is a necessity and it’s important our communities are involved in this process and work with us to find acceptable solutions. While we do face some hard choices to reduce our spending, the very ethos of the CCG is about improving the health and wellbeing of our communities and we will always try to commission services in a way that delivers the best outcomes for patients.”

The meeting is set to focus on a number of themes:-

Would patients be willing to travel further for hospital appointments/treatment, particularly if it meant receiving a better / quicker service?

How would residents feel about an increase in ‘health optimisation’ measures? (currently, a patient who smokes or has a high BMI requiring a non-urgent operation may have the procedure delayed by up to six months to give them the opportunity – with free help available – to make changes to their lifestyle)

Would residents support measures to reduce the prescribing of some medicines, which can be bought readily over the counter? (A current NHS England consultation proposes initial action to limit prescribing of products for minor self-limiting conditions which currently cost taxpayers £50-100 million a year. The products include cough mixture and cold treatments, eye drops, laxatives and sun cream lotions)

At the same time, NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG will provide reassurances that it will protect a number of key services at Scarborough Hospital, such as Accident and Emergency, maternity and paediatrics.