Fighting to save under-fire service
CAMPAIGNING MP Nigel Adams has moved swiftly to allay fears that Selby’s New War Memorial Hospital could close only a year after it opened.
Last week Selby’s health trust released a statement clarifying its cash saving plans, leading critics to reassert their fears over its future.
As reported in the Selby Times the combined North Yorkshire health trusts are looking to save £250m over the next five years, with £75m savings in the coming year.
On Monday Mr Adams met the government’s secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt, at the Department of Health in London, to seek reassurances that services would be saved and said he was encouraged by his response to look at a new funding formula for the area before Christmas.
He said: “I had a very positive meeting with Jeremy Hunt. Also present at the meeting was the chief executive of North Yorkshire and Yorks Primary Care Trust Christopher Long. I made the case for the hospital to be retained. The problem is that North Yorkshire is the only area in the country carrying forward an NHS deficit. This is due to an historic problem with the funding formula dating back to the previous government.”
Mr Adams said the formula was tweaked slightly last year by the coalition government and North Yorkshire benefited from increased funding, but the region was still at a disadvantage under the current funding formula.
He added: “We are at a disadvantage because we have an older population than many other areas and the cost of treating older people has to be taken into consideration when looking at funding. I have put forward the case for retaining the hospital and its minor injuries unit.
“I was encouraged by Jeremy Hunt’s comments and with the way he took an interest in Selby and said he would look at a new funding formula to be introduced before Christmas. I am hopeful that from next year onwards this area will be treated in a fairer way. One encouraging thing is that this year the debt of the trust is slightly less than it has been, but it is still significant.
“As far as I’m concerned I will be fighting tooth and nail to ensure the new hospital and minor injuries unit are protected.”
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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