Crunch meeting on maternity services downgrade

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Health chiefs will hold a crunch meeting later this month to discuss controversial plans to downgrade maternity services at a North Yorkshire hospital.

Proposed measures favoured by health bosses – which have provoked a storm of protest – would see full maternity care at the Friarage Hospital, in Northallerton downgraded to a midwife-led unit, meaning women due to have complicated births would have to travel to places including Darlington to have their babies.

Young patients may also have to travel to other hospitals for in-patient children’s services.

NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be holding an Extraordinary Governing Body Meeting at 10am on Thursday, February 27 at The Yorkshire Suite, The Golden Lion Hotel, 114 High St, Northallerton DL7 8PP, to decide a preferred option.

The meeting will be open to members of the public to observe.

Henry Cronin, Lay Chairman for the CCG, said yesterday: “As a CCG that has ‘transparency’ as one of its core values, we believe it’s important that people have the chance to hear our discussions and observe how decisions are made about the health services they access.”

At the beginning of the meeting the CCG will spend time answering any questions that have been submitted in advance by members of the public. Anyone who would like to submit a question to the governing body, should email: by 12pm on February 26.

An agenda, supporting papers for the meeting will be available on the CCG’s website on February 20 at

The venue has a maximum capacity for two hundred members of the public and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

For anyone who cannot attend, the meeting will be filmed and will ve available online at the website: