Council leader calls for end to NHS provision postcode lottery amid “unprecedented cutbacks”

County Hall, Northallerton.

The leader of a health watchdog has called for an end to a postcode lottery over NHS provision following a series of cuts and threats to key services.

Councillor Jim Clark, chairman of the North Yorkshire scrutiny of health committee, said patients in some areas of the county were facing unprecedented cutbacks.

A meeting of the committee was told a decision to axe a minor injuries service provided by GPs in the Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby area could exacerbate strains on hospitals and cost the lives of patients.

Meanwhile, members heard it was not acceptable that changes had been introduced to the Patient Transport Service without any consultation.
Councillors also raised doubts over the future of breast cancer outpatient services at Scarborough Hospital and critical care services at the Friarage Hospital.

Cllr Clark highlighted the loss of the hyper stroke service at Harrogate Hospital, mental health wards at the Friarage Hospital, and ongoing threats to smaller hospitals in Ripon, Easingwold and Richmond.

He said: “We seem to be suffering from quite a number of loss of services. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when there’s been such a loss of services in the NHS.

“Politicians on the television say more and more money is being put into the NHS, but it doesn’t seem to be coming to North Yorkshire. It is a national health service. There should be equal treatment throughout the area we cover.”