Did another clinic knee-d to close?

WHITBY Hospital has lost another clinic, although the foundation trust responsible has reassured patients that the loss is only temporary.

The joint review clinic, which checks on the progress of patients after they have undergone joint replacement or repair, has been suspended until further notice.

Vivienne Wright, of Helredale Road, said: “I had a knee replacement 18 months ago and was due to go for a check-up, but I got a telephone call last Tuesday to say my appointment was cancelled and the clinic was suspended and they didn’t know what was happening.

“Maybe this isn’t a big clinic but to somebody that’s just had a knee replacement, that follow-up is important because the patient needs to be reassured.

“But it would appear this service isn’t going to be there for them.”

Mrs Wright, who is chief officer for Scarborough and District Blind and Partially Sighted Society and has been involved with the Helredale playing fields campaign, added: “It’s another nail in the coffin of Whitby Hospital.

“When you think back to when Whitby Hospital was first built it was hailed as the best thing since sliced bread and yet here we are and it’s only a scrap heap.

“It’s totally unbelievable and now they are talking about building a new hospital on a brownfield site out of town.

“We don’t just want a doctor’s surgery, we want a proper hospital with a small operating theatre, small accident and emergency ward and small regular clinics.”

Lucy Brown, head of communications at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, was able to reassure Whitby residents that the suspension of the joint review clinic is only temporary.

She said: “This service is temporarily suspended due to staff retirement and we are in the process of recruiting staff.

“We have written to patients advising them they can see a consultant during this period, and we will once again be providing a service in Whitby as soon as we appoint to the post.”

Whitby Hospital Action Group (WHAG) has been putting pressure on those who run the community hospital in an attempt to protect the services available.

Spokeswoman Sarah Wyatt said: “Any further removal of services from the hospital has to be absolutely deplored.

“Those patients who have personal challenges and then have an increased tariff placed on them to manage their health is completely unacceptable.

“We have to challenge anything which is cancelled, which is changed, so I would urge people who have experienced anything like that to contact WHAG and let us know.”