Consultation on future of The Friarage hospital branded "worst of the year" according to independent experts

A consultation document on the future of a hospital in North Yorkshire has been branded the worst narrative of the year.

The Friarage.
The Friarage.

The Bedfordshire based Consultation Institute has made a slamming critique of a dossier that forms the basis of a public consultation into the future of The Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.

Hambleton, Richmond and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group launched a publ

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He criticised the language, style and content of the report as there are 9,000 words over 26 pages with too much jargon and repetition which is badly presented; confusing contradictions with the CCG saying there are two options to consider yet further reading only reveals one; there is an inadequacy of Impact Assessments and he also finds no evidence that public and patient concerns have been addressed.

In its assessment The Consultation Institute said: “Before examining these documents, we must stress the Institute holds no view whatever as to the merits or otherwise of proposals under consideration – by the NHS or any other public body for that matter.

“We are concerned, however with encouraging good practice, and th

No-one was available for comment last night at the NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), but it says the local NHS has faced a number of challenges, not least a shortage of key emergency staff that has affected ability to provide safe 24 hour A&E cover, anaesthetic overnight cover and critical care services from the hospital.

That has led to two proposals being drawn up which are to replacing the emergency department with a 24/7 Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) supported by a responsive front-of-house emergency medical model or to have a UTC that is closed between midnight and 8am.

The Consultation Institute’s damning review of the CCG’s consultation paper has been welcomed by campaigners who want to save the Friarage.

Holly Wilkinson of the Save the Friarage Campaign, said: “This independent review has blasted the consultation document as the “worst they have ever seen”. How can we be asked to put our faith in the South Tees Trust to deliver the right level of care needed to serve the people of Teesside and North Yorkshire well, if they cannot get the basics of a consultation right.

“What we have been left with is a service that cannot respond to the needs of its patients outside the hours of 8am to 6.30pm, it’s clear from the consultation document that the Urgent Treatment Centre is already earmarked to have its opening hours reduced.”

Earlier this year another independent report said health bosses had a sound case to make changes at The Friarage.

It surveyed A&E services across the UK and showed it was extremely rare for a hospital of the Friarage’s size to be able to maintain full A&E provision, and much larger hospitals had already had make similar changes due to similar staffing issues.