Public consulted soon on hospital services cutback

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Health bosses have said that they hope to begin consulting on proposals to scale back women’s and children’s services at a North Yorkshire hospital shortly.

The measures – which have provoked a storm of protest – would see full maternity care at the Friarage Hospital, in Northallerton, downgraded to a midwife-led unit, meaning women due to have complicated births would have to travel to places including Darlington to have their babies. They may also have to travel further for inpatient children’s services.

Last month Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt rejected calls for a full review of the proposals. In a statement, NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group has now announced its intention to start the formal public consultation “as soon as possible”.