Health service finance troubles under scrutiny

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HEALTH bosses have launched a review of services in North Yorkshire to try to solve long-running financial problems.

Led by NHS Confederation medical director Hugo Mascie-Taylor, the independent review panel includes representatives from local authorities, the voluntary sector and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as well as the NHS and GP consortia.

It was commissioned on behalf of local GPs and has a budget of £50,000.

It comes as the strategic health authority faces again bailing out North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust (PCT) after it plunged into the red.

This forced a series of cuts, including stopping new patients undergoing IVF treatment and axing minor surgery at GP clinics.

With PCTs to be abolished under the Government’s plans to put NHS budgets in the hands of GPs, there is pressure to sort out the problems before the overhaul takes place.

Dr Mascie-Taylor said: “The quality of the recommendations we make will be, in part, dependent on the quality of the questions we set ourselves at the start of this inquiry.

“The independent review will take an evidence-based approach to making its recommendations and throughout the review I will be talking to a wider number of parties across the North Yorkshire region to ensure that the options we present are fully informed.”