Richmondshire District Council

A call to keep Northallerton hospital’s Urgent Treatment Centre open 24 hours a day, seven days a week has received backing from district councillors.

Members of the authority’s Full Council last night (October 22) backed a motion urging the Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) not to close the Friarage Hospital unit overnight.

The CCG is currently consulting on the need to keep the UTC open 24 / 7 preferring to close it between midnight and 8am.

But councillors were told that members of the council’s Scrutiny Committee had looked in detail at the proposals and concluded shutting for eight hours overnight was not in the best interests of local residents.

“Our rural communities already feel marginalised in terms of healthcare and this suggestion just makes that even worse,” said Leader of the Council, Councillor Angie Dale.

“People in the Dales already have to drive miles to reach the urgent treatment facility – to close it will make that journey intolerable. While the number of users may be low compared to an urban unit, it does not mean it is not a very much needed provision.”

A to Z of Services