Injury unit hours cut amid crisis

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PATIENTS are being warned a rural minor injuries unit could shut in the evenings and at weekends as NHS chiefs battle with a major cash crisis.

NHS services in North Yorkshire have been plunged into renewed problems amid fears debts will spiral above a planned £19m deficit predicted for 2012-13.

Already a series of emergency measures have been put in place to try to stem losses and now Malton minor injuries unit is set to have its hours cut.

Under the plans, officials say the unit at Malton Hospital will open from 9am-5pm on weekdays rather than from 8am-9.30pm every day of the week. Opening hours at other units in the county are also under review although no date has been set for any changes.

Simon Cox, chief operating officer at NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “In order to help prevent the primary care trust’s deficit from increasing further, we and other CCGs in the area are working together to identity a range of short term measures.

“Statistics show that during weekdays the majority of patients access the unit between 9am and 5pm. For patients requiring services outside of these hours and during weekends there are alternative services available such as the GP out-of-hours service.

“It is important to state that any action we take will be short term and only apply to the end of this financial year.”