HEALTH bosses are meeting today to discuss cash cuts they hope will save £10 million.

The board of North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust (PCT) will meet in Harrogate to debate and approve a range of cash-saving measures, circulated to GPs and hospitals at Christmas time.

The cuts have been introduced in an attempt to help the PCT claw back some of its multi-million pound debt.

They include suspending a list of procedures including MRI back scans, vasectomies, IVF unless a woman is nearing 40, arthroscopies, and treatment for bunions and ganglions.

The Press has already revealed that the PCT is heading for a debt of £45 million by April - the beginning of the next finance year.

But the latest report to board chiefs reveals that it hopes to cut that by £10 million from its deficit from these short-term cost cuts - which have been heavily criticised by doctors who have warned they will impact on patients.

Nicholas Steele, PCT finance director, said in the report that the cuts had the backing of the region's strategic health authority.

"This is an extremely serious financial position for the PCT and urgent action is required in order to reduce the forecast deficit significantly in the last quarter," he said.

"The actions themselves have the full support of the Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Health Authority and the anticipated financial benefit from these actions is expected to be in the region of £10 million. This should therefore improve the year end position to a deficit of £35 million."

Last year the former Selby and York PCT was fined £1.6 million by the Government for ending the year with a debt of £23.7 million. But The Press has learned that the Government do not intend to impose similar penalties on primary care trusts this year.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said that, instead, they wanted to see PCTs who manage to end the finance year with surplus cash bail out those who are in debt.

A spokesman for NHS Yorkshire and the Humber said: "The new North Yorkshire and York PCT has inherited a very serious financial challenge and we are pleased that they have are taking steps to address the issue. Financial stability is in the best interests of patients and the taxpayer and the NHS Yorkshire and the Humber will support these initiatives aimed at bringing the trust back into balance."