HOW lovely it is that Professor Sir Chris Whitty got “a bracing introduction to Scarborough”, with North Yorkshire County Council’s director of public health. How disappointing, though, that NYCC was unable to invite participation from other coastal communities which fare less well in the spread and scope of NHS services.
Whitby has two GP practices, serving over 15,000 people, and one NHS dentist, who is “only taking new NHS patients who have been referred”. It has a “health and wellbeing hub” – which used to be a hospital – with very limited clinical services and no consultants, run by a Humberside trust, which, despite running a consultation to name four rooms, overruled the opinion of Whitby people to name just two of them with the generic “Heather” and “Memorial”. Maybe that was for the best.
All of this fits a pattern of local services dictated by people who are remote from the lived experience of Whitby people.
Last week, there was a prime opportunity for Chris Whitty to be “Chris Whitby” for one day. That would have been of real value to local people and to those in the town who work in health and social care.
It was a missed opportunity to visit Whitby and see what a community that has been left to go it alone looks like.
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