POLITICIANS have expressed serious concerns over the closure of a York hospital unit without any public consultation.

Archways in Clarendon Court, between Haxby Road and Wigginton Road, cares for 350, mainly elderly, people a year to prevent patients being admitted to York Hospital or to allow earlier discharge.

The Press revealed on Wednesday that the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had decided to close the unit at the end of the year.

York’s Labour Group said NHS bosses are “bulldozing” the plans through and “failed to consult and explain the changes”.

They are calling on other parties to support them in referring the matter to the Secretary of State.

Cllr Stuart Barnes, Labour’s deputy leader and member of the council’s Health Scrutiny Committee, said: “The fact that these plans are being bulldozed through with such short notice and without consultation is a major concern.

"The law requires consultation with patients and the public, and that significant changes are explained to the council, none of which has happened.

“This sadly appears to be the modern day reality of NHS bosses under real pressure to do what Westminster demands and balance the books, sometimes by changing or removing services. I want to send a very clear message to the interim bosses in charge of NHS services here that balancing the books is not an excuse to cut corners and sell this city short.”

The Labour group statement highlights that the CCG is under interim leadership after the organisation fell into special measures due to poor performance. It is currently working to claw back about £13million of debt.

NHS bosses yesterday NHS bosses in York have defended their decision to close a hospital unit without public consultation.

A CCG spokeswoman said: “Ultimately, the aim is to avoid a hospital admission wherever possible and ensure that if an admission is required, the length of stay is minimised. This will be made possible by investing in a wider range of services.

“The background, rationale and proposal was discussed by partners from Healthwatch York, York Community and Voluntary Services (CVS), City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, Public Health, Primary Care and York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust at the Integrated Transformation Board”.

She said there is national evidence that prolonged stays in hospital may do harm to older people if there is a delay in their transfer or discharge home. A review had shown 90 per cent of the patients at Archways did not need to be in an inpatient bed."

  • If you want to share your views about the closure of Archways, please contact Healthwatch York on 01904 621133 or healthwatch@yorkcvs.org.uk