NHS debt in North Yorkshire

Debt stands at over £16 million Photo: Press Association

Reducing the opening hours of a Minor Injuries Unit, closing community hospitals and reviewing high cost treatments and drugs are some of the measures being considered by the Board of NHS North Yorkshire and York to reduce its debt.

Bosses met today to discuss the finances of services for more than 800,000 people. It is understood the debt is over £16 million - the board want to make sure it does not exceed £19m.

Management consultants from KPMG were brought in to review the services in hospitals, GP clinics and community services to look at making savings.

There have previously been concerns on the impact any possible cuts would have on patient care.

Chief Executive of NHS North Yorkshire and York, Chris Long, said: “In June we made it very clear that we would have to work hard to ensure the deficit did not exceed £19 million.

“We are still committed to achieving this, however, unfortunately we have seen the potential deficit rise significantly due largely to higher than anticipated demand for hospital services. This means we must now take urgent action to stop the deficit from escalating any further.

“In order to ensure we can continue to provide essential services to everyone in North Yorkshire and York, we must make some difficult decisions about the services we provide both this year and into the next.

“We have been working closely with CCGs in the area to agree these plans which, whilst making the necessary savings, will ensure we maintain the expected quality of patient care.”

The measures were approved by the Board - in their words - were:

  1. A review of elective activity to ensure referral thresholds are adhered to

  2. A review of inpatient follow-up appointments, in line with best practice

  3. A review of Minor Injury Unit opening hours, with a view to some

closures

  1. A review of community hospital beds with a view to some closures

  2. A review of high cost treatments and drugs

  3. Potential cessation of primary care enhanced service payments

  4. A review of mental health and continuing care placements

  5. Ceasing expansion of health visitor implementation

  6. Redesigning patient transport

Mr Long added: “It is estimated these measures will save approximately £10 million, and we are working with local health partners to identify further measures required to keep the projected deficit to £19 million.

“It is important to state that these measures will not in any way affect patient

access to emergency care.”