Update on bid for link-up of health trusts

Bridlington Hospital'Visit by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley'PA1050-15w'Richard Sunley
Bridlington Hospital'Visit by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley'PA1050-15w'Richard Sunley

A DATE has been set for the next public meeting about the proposed link-up between Scarborough health trust and York.

The meeting, which has been organised by the Scarborough branch of the Local Involvement Network (LINk), will be held upstairs at Scarborough Library on Wednesday 16 March at 6.30pm.

Organiser Leo McGrory said: “It’s a chance for everyone to get an update on the situation, which seems to be moving forward.

“As long as we have a decent local hospital at the end of it, that is our main concern.”

He added that Scarborough’s chief executive Richard Sunley and York boss Patrick Crowley will both be present at the meeting and will be on hand to answer questions.

It was announced in November that Scarborough Hospital was seeking a “partnership” with York as it was unlikely to meet Government targets on its own.

Since then discussions have been under way and Mr Sunley gave an update on the situation at a recent trust board meeting held at Scarborough Hospital.

He explained that public meetings had been very useful, saying: “It has been very much about the local population’s concerns about services remaining in Scarborough and maintaining quality locally.”

Mr Sunley added: “The executive group has been talking through the governance needed to support the merger, if that were to take place.

“Discussions are ongoing and we have been talking about the structure of services and where they could be linked.

“There have also been discussions with clinicians here and in York, which we need to feed back to our staff and the public.

“These talks have been very positive at all levels.”

Trust board chairman Sir Michael Carlisle said he had also noted that the situation was proceeding well and there had been “a considerable amount of activity”.

He said: “There has been engagement at all levels and increasingly so at a clinical level.

“We’ve had some very open discussions and the outlook is good, not just for the integration process but for the effects of that.

“There’s a strong commitment for equality of care throughout the area served, which is an important principle we need to keep our eyes on.”

Sir Michael added that there was a huge amount of work to be done and that each director is working with a counterpart at York.

He added: “I think there’s a lot that this trust can offer York – it’s not a one-way street.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the open meeting on 16 March.