Review of health services drawn up

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AN INDEPENDENT review of health services in Scarborough and across the region has been published.

The report, which came out yesterday, features 44 recommendations in eight key service areas such as primary care, community services and estates.

It was published by NHS Yorkshire and the Humber, having been commissioned by the Strategic Health Authority on behalf of local GPs, to present options and make recommendations on how to make the best use of resources within the region.

The report touches on Scarborough health trust’s plan to integrate with York by April 2012, saying it is “a key local policy consideration”.

It also states that responsibilities for community health services in Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale will be with York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

However Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust will continue to provide mental health, learning disability and substance misuse services in the Scarborough area.

The report also flags up the fact that the primary care trust’s patch covers some 3,200 square miles and has a resident population of around 800,000.

Half live in towns such as Scarborough, York and Harrogate, with the remainder in numerous, scattered smaller villages.

It also says that parts of Scarborough are classed as some of the most deprived in the country. This was calculated by looking at how many families are receiving means-tested benefits.

Research has shown that economic, social and housing issues can influence health and wellbeing.

The report also touched upon Scarborough health trust’s historic issues with a lack of funding.

It quotes a report by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel from June 2008, saying: “In Scarborough and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust, there is a challenge of maintaining high quality acute services while meeting new medical staffing requirements without the advantage of economies of scale.”

Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor, chair of the independent review commission, said: “The people of North Yorkshire enjoy relatively good health, but with the changing architecture of the NHS, the Strategic Health Authority was concerned that the extra support that this area has needed in the past would not be available in the future.

“To meet this challenge we feel strongly that action needs to be taken now to re-design the model of care.”