hundreds of orthopaedic patients will be treated each year at a new unit on the East Coast after bosses agreed plans to end surgery at another hospital.
Around 1,300 planned operations will be performed annually at Bridlington Hospital, enabling more people from the East Riding to undergo procedures closer to home.
But the changes mean Scarborough’s hospital, which has struggled to meet demand due to pressure on beds, will concentrate on dealing mainly with emergency patients.
Instead patients from the town will travel 20 miles to Bridlington for surgery where a new orthopaedic ward and theatre complex is being created under plans costing £7 million backed by bosses at the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
A temporary theatre will initially be used at Bridlington and the vacant Kent ward will be opened, enabling patients from the Bridlington, Driffield and Beverley areas currently treated in Hull to be operated on in the town. Outpatient and rehabilitation services will also be created in Bridlington.
Trust chief executive Patrick Crowley said: “It is increasingly evident that demand for beds for emergency admissions is growing year on year, and is likely to get worse over time. This causes us to cancel operations, which is clearly not ideal for our patients, frustrating for our staff, and potentially endangers the sustainability and longer-term future of some of our elective services on the Scarborough site.
“This gives us the opportunity to use Bridlington Hospital to its full potential, whilst better serving our emergency patients on the Scarborough site.”
The York trust, took over the running of Scarborough and Bridlington hospitals in 2012, and as part of the deal the Department of Health agreed capital funding of £20m for work to improve the sites.