“Positive future” for Friary Hospital, says NHS boss

The Friary Hospital, Richmond.

NHS bosses have issued reassurances over future health services in Richmond where campaigners have claimed the community hospital is at threat.

Lisa Pope, deputy chief operating officer of Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby clinical commissioning group (CCG) has told members of Richmondshire District Council the CCG had ambitions for a “positive future” for The Friary Hospital premises in Richmond.

The statement follows the CCG revealing last year that it was considering the future of the Queens Road private finance initiative building to “to ensure we are spending money in the right way”.

Following the announcement, Councillor John Blackie said it was “quite plain and obvious that the writing is on the wall” for the future of the Friary, which has an 18-bed ward offering rehabilitation, palliative and acute illness care.

However, speaking to the council’s scrutiny committee Ms Pope said the CCG was continuing to talk to partners and the two GP practices in Richmond about the provision of primary care services.

She said: “It looks like a very positive way forward, but we’re working with the practices to determine what they want to do with the future of their businesses.

“There’s no intention to take services or GP practices out of Richmond. We understand how valued the Friary is and we are looking to establish a positive future for the building.”

She added plans to enhance NHS facilities in Catterick Garrison were progressing well.

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