Scarborough’s MP has vowed to ‘fight until the death’ to retain life-saving services in Scarborough, after leaked documents revealed unprecedented cuts are planned at the town’s hospital.
Robert Goodwill has branded the leaked proposals “completely unacceptable” as a senior health campaigner warns the cuts could have a calamitous effect on the health of the town.
Leo McGrory, chairman of Scarborough and Whitby LINk, believes proposals such as closing the town’s A&E unit at night, as well as severely cutting the number of beds at the hospital, could potentially cost lives.
And with the leaked documents revealing the A&E unit would only open during “daylight hours”, it could mean gravely ill patients would be forced to travel to York for life-saving treatment.
And Mr McGrory warned: “If these sick people can’t get there in time, then that could be the difference between life and death”, adding that the ambulance service was already being pushed to “breaking point.”
Following the leak, Mr Goodwill said the closure of the A&E ward at night would be made “over my dead body”, and speaking outside of the Castle Health Centre this morning, the MP said that he would be taking immediate action to try and stop the changes being implemented.
He said: “I was shocked that we had to hear about this through a leak, and it would have been nice to have been kept in the loop.
“It would be completely unacceptable not to have the A&E at Scarborough Hospital.
“People may go to Newcastle or Hull for specialist treatment, but the basic treatment that they receive in Scarborough should still be available for people here.”
“Rest assured, I will be discussing this with the Secretary of State (Jeremy Hunt) on Monday morning, and I will not be pulling any punches.”
The proposals, which have been branded the biggest-ever shake up of NHS care in the region, could see services at Scarborough Hospital, including the “top-class” maternity service, severely curtailed.
There are also major concerns that the hospital, which has historically struggled to attract top staff, would be hindered even further by the changes.
There would also be a serious possibility of redundancies.