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Friarage paediatric unit to shut early

The opening times of the short-stay paediatric assessment unit (SSPAU) at the Friarage Hospital are being temporarily changed from later this week due to staffing pressures.

Currently the children’s unit opens from 10am to 10pm, but from Saturday 17 January it will close at the earlier time of 8pm Monday to Friday and 5pm on weekends and Bank Holidays.

Doctors insist the impact on patients will be minimal because they say very few children attend the unit after 8pm, or after 5pm on weekends.

The SSPAU opened in October 2014 following changes to children’s and maternity services at the Friarage.

The hospital says that, despite efforts to recruit consultants, the paediatric consultant team has a shortfall staff.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Ginny Birrell said: “Unfortunately we can’t sustain the level of service we currently provide for children so, in the short-term, we’ve taken the decision to reduce our opening times.

“We do not anticipate these changes will impact on our patients, as very few children attend the unit after the times we’re temporarily changing to, but we will be closely monitoring the situation with a further review in April.”

Consultation on Friarage future ends

The Friarage Hospital, in Northallerton Credit: ITV News

A public consultation about the future of children's and maternity services at the Friarage hospital in Northallerton ends today.

The trust that runs the hospital says services need to be scaled back for safety reasons, because the hospital is too small to deliver constant high-quality care.

But campaigners have come up with alternative plans to try and save the service.


Full Report: Dales family calls for Friarage services to be kept

A family from the Yorkshire Dales say that it is imperative that a North Yorkshire hospital retains its current level of paediatric and maternity services.

The future of services at the Friarage hospital in Northallerton is being looked at by the government.

Plans include downgrading the care on offer - which it's claimed would be more sustainable and safer for patients.

However, one family say the Friarage is the only hospital close enough to where they live.

You can watch the full report from Frances Read below.

  1. Rachel Bullock

Meeting over planned cuts to paediatric services in North Yorkshire

A meeting has taken place between campaigners and a medical panel over plans to cut paediatric services at Northallerton's Friarage Hospital.

Protesters were angry when the announcement was made last week. They attended a meeting in the town today to hear the panel's reasons behind the decision.