Lib Dem election candidate calls for Friarage A&E to be restored

Liberal Democrat election candidate Daniel Callaghan has called for the accident and emergency services to be restored at the Friarage Hospital.

The party claims that since the closure of the A&E at the Northallerton hospital, emergency wait times in neighbouring hospitals have soared.

Local Lib Dems say local data reveals that people arriving by ambulance to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough are faced with an average wait of just under five hours, double that of what it was when Northallerton A&E was open.

The statistics, released by South Tees and North Tees Trusts via a Freedom of Information request, also shows that wait times at Darlington Memorial A&E have tripled across this period, rising to an average of seven hours 11 minutes.

Lib Dem General Election candidate, Daniel Callaghan said: “The closure of what was the one and only A&E in the entire constituency was a mistake.

“It’s time to reverse that decision. That fight starts here.”

The Friarage A&E was downgraded to an urgent treatment centre in 2019.

As a result, residents from Northallerton, Richmond and the Dales have been redirected out of the county to Darlington and Middlesbrough for most emergencies.

Lib Dem,s say the problem has been exacerbated by the closer of A&Es at West Hartlepool and Bishop Auckland hospitals.

Mr Callaghan said: “We lost this vital service on Rishi Sunak’s watch. It’s just one in a long line of examples of how rural areas like ours have been short-changed when it comes to healthcare.

“When it comes to our NHS, the Conservatives and Labour focus attention on the big cities and industrial areas.

“They won’t step in to sort this out. But why should those of us living in market towns and smaller villages get a second-class service when it comes to health care?

He added: “I was born in the Friarage. My family and I, like many others, have relied on it for generations.

“The messages we are being sent by residents supporting my campaign to ‘Bring Back Our A&E’ shows exactly how important it is. I won’t pretend it’s going to be easy, but I’m determined. It’s about time people here had an MP prepared to fight for our fair share.”


1 Comment

  1. Can someone please explain the difference between A&E and UTI? When I went to A&E at the Friarage about 7 years ago I waited for 2 hours; at the UTI 3 years ago I was seen immediately.

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