Health minister promises to review funding for Scarborough Hospital following meeting with MPs
Health Ministers have promised to review the way small rural hospitals are funded following a meeting with North Yorkshire MPs.
Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond, and Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, have been raising concerns over the challenges faced by Scarborough and Friarage hospitals for some time.
Mr Hollinrake said: “I certainly welcome any reform to the system. Although the hospitals do receive some extra funding because of their size and location, it doesn’t make up for the fact that they don’t receive extra ‘payments by results’ which some of the larger hospitals qualify for. This is not fair to our constituents who are just as entitled to the excellent health care
enjoyed by people living near much bigger hospitals.”
Mr Goodwill added: “This situation has gone on too long. The funding arrangements need to recognise that we cannot achieve the economies of scale enjoyed by hospitals in big cities, but we still need to deliver a wide range of services and minimise the number of patients who have to travel to York.”
Scarborough and Friarage hospitals are classified as ‘unavoidably small’ because they serve relatively small populations but, owing to their remote locations, need to provide as wide a range of services as possible so that patients don’t have to make unnecessarily long journeys, often in discomfort, to seek medical care.
As a result, these hospitals cost more to run.
Health Minister, Edward Argar MP, promised to review the way small hospitals are funded either through new legislation or by finding a new way of allocating the money through the NHS.
Mr Hollinrake said: “We certainly don’t want to rob Peter to pay Paul but we would like to see a fair share of the additional £33.9 billion recently announced by the Government for the NHS allocated to small hospitals like Scarborough and the Friarage."