WHITBY Hospital Action Group has signalled its intent to fiercely defend Whitby Hospital by producing a dossier that poses nine vital questions to the primary care trust responsible for the facility’s upkeep.
The pressure group, comprising laypeople and both borough and county councillors, has been working for over a year to hold North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust (NYYPCT) accountable for what it perceives as a decline of services at Whitby Hospital.
Accompanying the questions was a statement from WHAG, which read: “This decline was started by the PCT from 2005 when services at the hospital began to disappear. Patients in Whitby were told they could not go to the hospital in Whitby and had to go to Scarborough or James Cook in Middlesbrough.
“This was an imposed regime where Whitby Hospital was being taken out of the choices for the patients by the PCT.
“In 2010 the lack of investment in the hospital is said to be due to the small number of patients coming through the hospital, but this was the PCT intention all along from 2005.
“Reduce the ‘footfall’ and then reduce services and state that the hospital is not economically viable.”
The questions were distributed to Jayne Brown, chief executive officer of NYYPCT, MP Robert Goodwill, the North Yorkshire scrutiny of health committee, and other relevant individuals.
Under the NHS constitution and section 242 of NHS Act 2006, WHAG believes it should receive a response to their questions within 10 working days.
The dossier also included a response from WHAG to the Hugo Mascie-Taylor report, which was published earlier this month and stated that North Yorkshire health services are in urgent need of “radical” change.
The report claims that more than 200 hospital beds could close as the country attempts to make the £230m savings required before 2015.
Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor, author of the review, said to meet the financial challenge “the North Yorkshire and York health economy requires a radical solution and a shift in how healthcare is provided”.