Removal of hospital services from Scarborough forcing patients to travel to York and leaving 'fragmented' health service

Since the merger of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust in 2012, several services that used to be available at Scarborough Hospital have been moved to York.

By Corinne Macdonald
Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 4:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 4:50 pm
Scarborough Hospital. (JPI Media)
Scarborough Hospital. (JPI Media)

This is forcing people in Scarborough to make the 80-mile round trip to access healthcare services.

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Dr Asif Firfirey, a GP in Scarborough, has said that health services in the area now feel “fragmented”.

Andy Williams, before he got Covid. (Andy Williams)

He said: “It feels like in the big city you are getting a different service to those on the coast.”

Andy Williams, who spent three weeks in a medically induced coma last April after contracting coronavirus, has recently been required to travel to York four times in eight weeks for kidney issues.

Of the four trips, transport from Scarborough was provided on three occasions, and return transport just once.

He said arranging lifts was inconvenient and on one occasion his brother had travelled down from Scotland to help.

He said: “It’s not a very good system. The staff are brilliant but the management system is atrocious and it’s letting people down.”

Mr Williams explained how on one occasion after surgery he had to wait in a discharge lounge for three hours as the hospital needed his bed back and he couldn’t get picked up until later on.

A spokesperson for York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The nature of the way that health services are provided means that more specialist services are now provided in larger centres such as Hull, York or Leeds for example.

“Services will continue to evolve, depending on the evidence base and the need to provide safe, sustainable services for the population.

"In some cases care moving to more specialist units, even if some distance away from Scarborough, provides better clinical outcomes for patients.

“We continue to deliver a comprehensive range of services on the East Coast.

“This includes a range of surgical services at Bridlington Hospital and a broad range of surgical services delivered in the Day Case Unit at Scarborough Hospital, for instance.

“Looking ahead, the Trust is planning to invest a total of £47 million pound funding to build a new Urgent and Emergency Care facility and supporting site-wide engineering infrastructure at Scarborough Hospital, which will enable us to offer high quality modern facilities, close to home, designed to create and maximise the best environment in which to care for our patients.”