What do you want from your hospital?

TODAY the Whitby Gazette is calling on the people of the town to join the fight to save services at Whitby Hospital.

Over the coming weeks we will be asking some searching questions of the North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust and what its intentions are for Whitby Hospital.

We want to know what you think and ask you to send your questions to us and we will pass them to health bosses and demand answers.

Our latest drive follows previous campaigns such as Save Our Hospital and Save Our Services.

Despite the PCT saying there are no plans to close the hospital, there appears to be an overwhelming feeling among the people of Whitby that the services provided are not enough for a town with a growing number of residents and increasing number of visitors.

Whitby Hospital Action Group (WHAG) was formed by concerned residents and former members of staff last year to fight for the right to have a basic level of medical care in the town.

They say there are:

• diminishing levels of service

• patients being turned away

• no night time admissions

• wards closed even though there is a need for them

• flaws with the Hospital at Home scheme

• concerned staff are being gagged from speaking out

Now councillors and the local MP, Robert Goodwill have lent their backing to the hospital’s plight.

Whitby Town Council is planning to write to the PCT and ask a representative to attend a future council meeting and explain what services Whitby people get.

Coun John Dickinson said: “The people of Whitby are not getting the services they are entitled to.

“I have sent an e-mail to the chief executive of the PCT about the hospital not being open in an evening.

“I have also been told by residents in my ward that on two occasions two people had been told to go to Scarborough Hospital when it has not been really necessary because Whitby Hospital could not admit them in an evening.”

A spokesperson for the PCT said the services at Whitby Hospital were not representative of the services available to the people of Whitby and also confirmed that between Wednesday of last week and Tuesday the inpatient ward had been closed due to an outbreak of norovirus.