Rishi has spoken of a bright future for the Friarage after successfully making the case for 24/7 emergency care to be maintained at the Northallerton hospital.
He said the range of services at the hospital was set to grow once the Covid-19 pandemic was overcome and the future of the emergency service at the Friarage was settled.
Already the hospital is playing an increasingly important role in the Covid-19 recovery plan for health services in the area taking more work from the James Cook University Hospital.
The decision to maintain the 24/7 opening hours of the Friarage Hospital’s urgent treatment centre follows a consultation exercise held last year which examined two options – maintaining the current 24/7 opening hours and reduced hours with the unit closed between midnight and 8am.
The reduced hours option was considered because of the lower numbers using the unit overnight.
In his submission to the consultation Rishi argued forcibly for maintaining the current opening hours.
He said the urgent treatment centre was performing well and his constituents deserved the reassurance of a 24/7 service given the travelling distances many faced getting to alternative emergency and urgent care services.
Welcoming the decision, Rishi said: “Local people have found this decision hugely reassuring. There has been uncertainty over the services offered at the hospital and this helps to allay the fears of many who told me how greatly they value what is offered at the Friarage.
“The knowledge that the majority of urgent care needs will still be met at our much-loved local hospital 24 hours a day seven days a week is very important.”
He added that he was looking forward to hearing further about hospital chiefs’ plans to expand services at the hospital once the current challenge of coping with the Covid-19 epidemic was overcome.