STRUCTURE: North Yorkshire and York PCT; Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group; and South Tees Hospitals Foundation Trust are considering proposals to close inpatient paediatric services, and potentially obstetric maternity services, at Friarage Hospital.

A change to services has been under consideration for some time and has now been backed by the National Clinical Advisory Team - the DH team which looks at reconfigurations.

A statement from the PCT says: “The review team’s advice is that, while a first class service is currently being provided by staff at the hospitals trust, the inpatient paediatric service at the Friarage is not sustainable for the future because: of the difficulty of maintaining a workforce with the right skills, and: if children are sick and need inpatient care, they should be cared for in a unit which has a full range of paediatric services backed up by high dependency and intensive care facilities, which the Friarage Hospital cannot provide.”

The organisations are planning a three-month public engagement exercise from March this year.