PATIENTS, carers, health groups and workers will get a chance to voice their views on huge NHS cost cuts at a major forum in York this month.

Members of City of York Council's Health Scrutiny Committee will host their health forum on January 31.

North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust (PCT) is now heading for a debt of £45million at the end of this financial year and is introducing a series of measures to help reduce its financial black hole. They include suspending treatments for a range of procedures such as vasectomies, MRI back scans and IVF for some women.

Committee members are inviting "health workers and professionals, patients and carers, voluntary organisations and community representatives" to give their opinions on "services provided or commissioned" by the PCT Representatives from the PCT and other health organisations in the York area are expected to be at the meeting, along with patients' forums and voluntary organisations which do health-related work.

The committee said its meeting is part of an assessment of health services available to residents of York.

This was because of "concerns about changes to provision" because of the PCT's daunting financial recovery plans.

Committee member Coun Janet Greenwood said: "We hope it will be well attended and that we can actually find out concerns of the public.

"It's a forum, not a consultation as such, but we as a council want to know exactly what's happening with regard to the suggested cuts and how it will affect York and area residents."

A PCT spokesman said: "It's important that we understand the views of the public, but they also need to understand the financial position the PCT is in and that we do have to make some very difficult decisions."

The meeting will be held from 2pm to 5pm in the main hall, Priory Street Centre, York.

To find out more, phone scrutiny officer Barbara Boyce, at City of York Council, on 01904 551714, or email