Plans to downsize hospital up for debate

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Health chiefs are debating whether to sell off part of the site of Whitby Hospital and use the proceeds to build a new hospital.

They say the current hospital is oversized and investing in more community services will allow more people to be treated in their own homes or close by, with less reliance on hospital beds.

Public talks have now begun on the proposal which would see around 25 to 30 per cent of the current site continue to be used as a hospital, with the remaining likely to be sold off for housing and an extra care development, which in turn would pay for the redevelopment.

A report prepared for the consultation warns: “From previous studies, it is considered the existing facility is unlikely to have a future economic use for health purposes in its current condition and therefore redevelopment of the site is likely to be required.

“The current hospital is out of date compared to modern healthcare standards and is oversized in relation to current and projected levels of activity.”

The draft vision for Whitby and the surrounding area has been developed by Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (HRW CCG).

The new hospital would offer services including a 28-bed ward, with two additional day beds, a physiotherapy department and a dental suite. A care centre offering services such as x-ray and ultrasound, outpatients, minor injuries is also planned.

Public talks are now underway and a series of public meetings has been organised on: January 7 at Sneaton Castle, Whitby, 4pm-6pm; January 8, Bradbury Centre, Langburn Bank, Castleton, North Yorkshire, 10am-12pm and January 9 at Staithes Village Hall, 2 Cliff Road, Staithes, 3.30pm-5.30pm.

Dr George Campbell, GP and Deputy Chair of NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group, said yesterday: “In Whitby and the surrounding area, we are looking to redesign both the community hospital and community services.

“In order to ensure we can cope with the increase in demand for services a growing older population will bring, we require innovative approaches to how health and social care services work together.”