GP out of hours service makes welcome return after its temporary move

Health bosses have confirmed a GP out of hours service temporarily moved because of safety concerns will return to the district later this month.

Last week it was announced that a GP out of hours service in Catterick, which is run between 6pm and 8am at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire, was being temporarily moved to the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, where a similar service already exists.

The move followed a fire risk assessment by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation at the Barracks which found the majority of emergency lighting in the building was substandard, making the building unsafe to use.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Coun John Blackie, the leader of Richmondshire District Council, raised concerns about the decision, fearing people living in isolated areas would find it difficult to reach services.

“The instant transfer to Northallerton left Richmondshire’s 51,000 residents - some living in the most remote areas of the country, 20,000 living in the Garrison, and the very many elderly residents in Richmond and beyond - extremely anxious about how their urgent healthcare needs would be handled,” said Coun Blackie, who welcomed the announcement.

It has been announced the service will return to Richmondshire on November 11 where it will be based at the Harewood Medical Practice in Catterick Garrison.

Dr Vicky Pleydell, clinical chief officer at Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group, said yesterday Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust, which provides the GP out of hours service in Hambleton and Richmondshire, was given four days notice to vacate the Catterick Garrison Barracks following the health and safety inspection.

“As we have been clear from the beginning, it was always our intention to return services to Richmondshire as soon as a safe and appropriate location was found,” she said.