Councillor accuses health trust of running “roughshod” over Whitby

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HEALTH bosses have run “roughshod” over what people in Whitby want according to a councillor.

Coun Sandra Turner told Mike Proctor, the chief executive of the body that runs Whitby, Scarborough and York hospitals that the people of Whitby couldn’t take any more disappointment.

Her scathing comments came at a health and wellbeing scrutiny meeting being held at Sneaton Castle on Wednesday.

Mr Proctor, Amanda Brown (locality director) for Hambleton, Ryedale and Whitby and James Hayward the director of facilities for the Scarborough and North East Yorkshire health trust faced questions from councillors about the worsening situation at Whitby Hospital.

The trio stated their commitment to Whitby always having a community hospital but discussed the possibility of a new hospital being built on the edge of town because the current one is not fit for purpose.

However, Coun Turner who represents the Streonshalh ward, felt people of Whitby had no confidence in health bosses after the closure of the Abbey ward, the ill-fated Hospital at Home scheme, the closure of the theatres and the gradual decanting of services to Scarborough.

At the meeting she said: “The damage you have done is beyond belief. I have been to so many public meetings and been told that things were going to be brought forward, services would be there and the next day, the next week we have had wards closed. We were told categorically this was not going to happen.

“On that history the work that needs to be done is phenomenal to bring the town with you. I do hope that what you’re saying is going to prove fruitful because believe me we can’t take any more disappointment in this area.

“We won’t take anything sitting down. You have run roughshod over what the people in this community want.”

Coun Turner also questioned what will happen to services at the current Whitby Hospital over the next five to ten years while a new one was being built.

Mr Proctor said: Let’s get away from the past and look towards the future. Can we start again? What I will promise you, I don’t play poker, I occasionally talk to the papers and when somebody asks me a question I give them an honest answer.

“The relationship between the public and the NHS is at best opaque. We need a bit more clarity and honesty in the system. That will mean we disagree but as long as we have a dialogue give us a chance.”

Mr Proctor, who is also a registered nurse, took over the running of the Scarborough and North East healthcare trust in March after the previous chief executive resigned.