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Friarage Hospital decision sent for independent review

A decision to downgrade services at the Friarage Hospital in North Yorkshire has been sent to the Secretary of State for review.

Friarage Hospital, Northallerton Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

It was decided in February 2014 that children's and maternity services at the Friarage in Northallerton would be scaled back. It was claimed that treatment at larger hospitals in Middlesbrough, Leeds or Darlington would be safer.

However, thousands of families have campaigned against the move, saying it would be risky for patients to travel further.

William Hague, the Conservative MP for the area, has asked for the decision to be reconsidered.

Now it has been decided it will be sent to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, requesting a full review by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

Public meeting begins over future of maternity and children's services at Friarage Hospital

Golden Lion Hotel
Public meeting being held in Northallerton, North Yorkshire. Credit: ITV

A public meeting is being held this morning at the Golden Lion Hotel in Northallerton, to discuss the future of children's and maternity services at the Friarage Hospital. It was decided last week that services will be scaled back.

Campaigners, councillors and members of the Clinical Commissioning Group, which made the decision, will take part.

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Maternity service meeting for the public

Friarage Hospital in Northallerton Credit: ITV News

A public meeting will be held this morning to discuss how maternity care will operate at The Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.

It follows a decision last week by the hospital to scale back paediatric and maternity services.

The existing service, run by consultants, will become midwife-led.

The changes will start in October.

Today's meeting is being held at The George Hotel in Northallerton and has been organised by NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group.

William Hague 'disappointed' over Friarage

Richmond MP William Hague says he is disappointed plans to scale back paediatric and maternity services at the Friarage Hospital Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Richmond MP William Hague says he is disappointed plans will now be put forward to scale back paediatric and maternity services at the Friarage Hospital.

Mr Hague said: “While there are legitimate clinical concerns faced by the Friarage, these are challenges to be overcome and not surrendered to.

"While I am disappointed by this recommendation, I welcome the news that GPs have insisted on a seven day model of paediatric care, rather than the five that was previously recommended.

"If these recommendations take effect it is vital that we have clear and firm assurances from other local providers, particularly Darlington Hospital, that they have the capacity to handle safely and effectively any extra demand as a result of these changes.

"I will be following closely the next meeting of North Yorkshire County Council’s Scrutiny of Health Committee and working with them if they decide to refer this decision to the IndependentReconfiguration Panel.”

Campaigners lose battle to keep Friarage services

Friarage hospital, Northallerton Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Families in North Yorkshire say they're disappointed after losing their fight to retain some of the current services at the Friarage hospital in Northallerton.

After a public consultation, plans will now be put forward to scale back paediatric and maternity services there.

Some doctors say patients would receive more specialised care from larger hospitals like the James Cook in Middlesbrough which, they say, would be safer.

But campaigners say they're worried that there would be no consultants on the maternity ward, and no overnight paediatric care.

They've vowed to appeal the decision which could be approved next week.

Families and campaigners have tried to save services Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

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Full Report: Emergency exercise at Friarage Hospital

Medics, the military and the emergency services have been taking part in a major exercise to see how they would cope in the evacuation of a hospital.

Around 140 people were involved in the operation, where mock patients were rescued from a ward filled with smoke.

All of the pictures in Claire Mongomery's reports were from the staged exercise today.

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