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Richmondshire Council calls for plans to be re-examined

Members of the Richmondshire Council have unanimously voted to call upon the bigger North Yorkshire County Council to 'call in' plans to remove what they say are key services from the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.

The North Yorkshire County Council's Health and Scrutiny Committee could then call for the plans to be re-examined by the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt.

The council says that the wishes of the local community have been ignored in wanting to keep the 24-hour Children's and Maternity Services, which would be downgraded if plans were to go ahead.

Council condemns "done deal" to remove key services

Richmondshire Council have condemned plans to remove the children's and maternity services at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton as being a "done deal from the outset."

They have also been critical of the Primary Care Trust which they say has failed to both to listen and respond to local communities.

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Richmondshire to research work of other small hospitals

Richmondshire Council have announced that they will be conducting research into the work of small hospitals elsewhere in the country in a bid to prove that the services to be scrapped at the Friarage Hospital must stay.

The research will look into the work done by at least three other hospitals in the West Country who face a similar amount of demand for services to that of the Friarage. This includes the North Devon Hospital which operates a 24 hour maternity and children's service.

"We consider the local NHS, rather than dismissing out of hand the opportunity to continue with these hugely important services at The Friarage, and excluding this option from the forthcoming consultation on downgrading them, should be asking themselves the question if these small hospitals can do it, why can’t we?

The evidence we collect from our fact finding mission is intended to prompt our local health chiefs to provide us, the local public their organisations serve, with their answer to this question."

– Councillor John Blackie, District leader for Richmondshire Council