A primary care trust has reversed a decision to cut funding to nearly 20 local charities after its strategic health authority agreed to provide short term financial support.

NHS North Yorkshire and York had planned to cut in-year funding to 18 voluntary organisations, giving them the minimum one-month notice period that already-pledged funding would be removed.

Charities that would have been affected include the York branch of mental health charity Mind and three charities working in the sexual health field, including North Yorkshire Aids Action.

Health minister Paul Burstow criticised the PCT’s plan during a parliamentary debate in November and, after intervention from the local strategic health authority, the PCT has said the charities will now receive funding until the end of the current financial year.

PCT deputy chief executive Sue Metcalfe said: “We have been in discussion with colleagues at NHS Yorkshire and the Humber, who have been very supportive of the PCT’s decisions to meet statutory financial obligations.

“The SHA are willing to offer the PCT some bridging support to manage through this difficult time which will lessen the impact on the voluntary sector. This has enabled us to revisit our decision on funding in this area,” she said.

“This means that the 18 organisations that were affected will now receive their agreed annual funding from North Yorkshire and York up to the end of March 2011.”

Ms Metcalfe wrote to the 18 voluntary sector organisations at the end of last month, warning them that the PCT had taken “some very painful decisions” in order to achieve financial break even this year.

The PCT is currently undertaking a value-for-money review of its voluntary sector funding. It has already suspended contracts with local GPs for simple procedures and returned them to acute settings, as part of immediate measures to address “serious financial pressures”.

In a similar move to a number of PCTs up and down the country, it has also halted IVF procedures for the final quarter of the financial year and is “working with” GPs to increase generic prescribing and plans to make around 60 members of staff redundant to reduce management costs.