Assurances given over A&E

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HOSPITAL bosses have given assurances that A&E and maternity services will not be affected under cost cutting proposals aimed at saving millions of pounds.

It had previously been revealed in leaked documents the A&E at Scarborough Hospital may close at night leaving Whitby patients faced with a journey to York or Middlesbrough in case of an emergency.

Down-grading of maternity services were also aired in the brain-storming of ideas put forward by consultants drafted in by North Yorkshire and York PCT.

But LINK - a patient and public panel - held a meeting last Friday and was told these services wouldn’t be affected.

It was also pledged that more consultants and medical specialists would be working from Scarborough rather than patients having to travel to York for treatment.

Leo Mcgrory, chairman for the Scarborough and Whitby branch, said he was treating the assurances with “cautious optimism”.

He told the Gazette: “My response was total cautious optimism. I think they mean what they say but with Healthwatch coming in in April nobody really knows what the future of the NHS is.”

The other two main points of concern raised were the levels of health care funding allocated to North Yorkshire compared to other areas and the £19 million worth of debt that the clinical commissioning groups will inherit when they take over from the primary care trusts which are being disbanded in April.