New plea to Ministers for cash to tackle NHS crisis

COUNCILLORS have issued an urgent plea to Ministers to boost the funding of crisis-stricken health services for 800,000 people in Yorkshire.

Health chiefs in North Yorkshire last week ordered an emergency package of cuts worth £10m as the NHS in the county faces a further worsening in its dire financial plight. North Yorkshire County Council’s senior members claimed yesterday they are “gravely concerned” and issued an appeal to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to examine the impact of national funding on the county.

The council’s executive member for adult social care, Coun Clare Wood, stressed there were significant disparities between North Yorkshire and other parts of the country.

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She said: “Funding of the NHS in North Yorkshire is one of the most serious issues we face and one that I want to raise at the highest level of government. Historically under-funded for a number of years, we need this problem to be addressed, and urgently, if the population of North Yorkshire is not to face a reduction in services.

“I am concerned about the short term cost-saving measures that are currently being proposed for health services in North Yorkshire. North Yorkshire has a large number of older people, scattered across a large rural area. Demand on health and social care services are high and providing health services in such a large county is not accounted for in our funding.”

NHS officials in North Yorkshire have warned they face running out of money to pay hospitals and GPs for services unless measures are taken to stem losses originally forecast to hit £19m by March.