TALKS on the state of health care spending in North Yorkshire have been held between York and North Yorkshire MPs and the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Hunt met Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, along with Julian Sturdy, Andrew Jones, Julian Smith, and Robert Goodwill, to discuss the underlying financial issues that have led to speculation over the possible withdrawal of services at the minor injuries unit of Selby’s New War Memorial Hospital.

Mr Adams said the main issue discussed was the financial difficulties of the North Yorkshire and York PCT, and the MPs urged action to help this.

He said: “We lobbied for a fairer funding formula for North Yorkshire, as the previous Government formula discriminated against the region due to its aging population, as it was weighted towards areas of social deprivation.

“The health secretary was very interested to hear the views of residents of Selby and across North Yorkshire because there are some concerns out there that if this funding formula isn’t addressed and we put the case forward, strongly, that we want to see it altered to make strong considerations for the elderly population and the rural nature of North Yorkshire.

“He took it on board, and said a decision wold be due in the next couple of weeks.”

Meanwhile furious North Yorkshire county councillors have blasted PCT bosses after they failed to show up for a meeting on Friday to discuss the £19 million deficit crisis facing the NHS in our region.

John Weighell, leader of North Yorkshire County Council and chairman of Local Government North Yorkshire and York, said: “This was a most disappointing response to our desire to seek meaningful engagement with the NHS over these issues.

“The PCT is in an extremely serious financial state, with many of its most highly valued services under review and in some cases threatened with closure.”

Kevin McAleese, chairman of NHS North Yorkshire and York, defended the organisations record of engagement with other parties.

He said: “With respect to the planned meeting last Friday, both the chief executive and I were unable to attend because of vital prior commitments and we gave apologies well in advance along with the offer to meet at an alternative time.

“It is simply nonsense to say that we ‘failed to attend’ and that we are somehow unwilling to engage with the councils.”