People will have the chance to question senior Friarage and Health Trust doctors about changes to emergency services at the North Yorkshire hospital.
Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond, has organised an urgent public meeting to discuss the decision taken by the Trust – the body which runs the Friarage - to temporarily suspend some critical care services and change the A&E department to an Urgent Treatment Centre.
The two key decision makers, Dr Adrian Clements, the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s deputy Chief Executive (and Friarage medical director) and Dr James Dunbar, the Friarage Hospital’s clinical director, will attend the meeting, to be held on Friday, March 22, at 6.15pm in the main hall of Northallerton School and Sixth Form College, in Grammar School Lane, Northallerton.
The doctors will take questions about the circumstances leading to the changes and their plans for the safe delivery of emergency services in the future. Both have been extensively involved in the decision and future planning.
Mr Sunak, who will chair the meeting, said: “I am grateful that the hospital’s and Trust's two most senior doctors have agreed to answer constituents’ questions about the worrying situation at the hospital.
“The sudden decision to make these changes at our local hospital has provoked great concern and this will be an opportunity for people to voice those concerns directly to the doctors best placed to answer them.
“We all want the best possible services at the Friarage and the only way to do that is to have a constructive dialogue with the medical team responsible for delivering the services there.”
The meeting has the support of neighbouring North Yorkshire MP Kevin Hollinrake and also the area’s local authority leaders who will all be attending the meeting. In a joint statement, the leaders of North Yorkshire County Council, Hambleton District Council, Richmondshire District Council - Cllrs Carl Les, Mark Robson and Yvonne Peacock - along with the Mayor of Northallerton, Cllr John Forrest, said: “We welcome this opportunity to hold to account those making the decisions about the Friarage. We all agree it is a very special hospital serving a special part of North Yorkshire which because of its very rural natures means people are rightly concerned about decent access to their healthcare.”
Given the likely interest in the public meeting, those wishing to participate should register their intention to attend by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Doors open at 5.45pm in order to allow for a prompt start at 6.15pm.