THE long-expected cuts to health services in York and North Yorkshire will be announced tomorrow at a public meeting of the region’s NHS trust.
In an attempt to reduce the £19 million health deficit facing the trust, the board is expected to announce where the axe will fall and is likely to see a shift away from hospital care to community services.
Among those listening to the announcement at the Priory Street centre tomorrow morning will be Coun Jim Clark, head of North Yorkshire County Council’s scrutiny of health committee.
The committee recently voted to oppose any cuts to health services in the region.
Coun Clarke said: “If they are going to focus on health care in the home it will be easy in York, but what if you live on the Yorkshire Moors or Upper Wharfedale? It’s more difficult.”
Raising concerns for the future of community hospitals in more rural areas such as Malton, Coun Clark said: “When they talk about centralisation of services that has to raise doubts about the things like maternity services or stroke and heart services.”
In his report set to go before tomorrow’s meeting, the chairman of NHS North Yorkshire and York, Kevin McAleese warned county councillors that “the financial realities will not change”.
He said: “There will have to be a painful, challenging and extended process of reconfiguring existing and high quality healthcare services in North Yorkshire and York back down to match the level of funding available to Clinical Commissioning Groups, despite the demographic trends indicating that demand for services can only grow in the foreseeable future.”
The meeting takes place at 10am in the Priory Street Centre tomorrow. Members of the public are welcome.