New health body pledges no changes

Harrogate District Hospital exterior.  101020M1a.
Harrogate District Hospital exterior. 101020M1a.

Bosses of Harrogate’s new health governing body have pledged to make no major changes to services in the next year.

Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is set to take over NHS provision in the area in April, but will be forced to take on a share of NHS North Yorkshire and York’s deficit – which the organisation’s latest projection put at £12m.

The CCG’s Chief Financial Officer Bernard Chalk told North Yorkshire’s Health Scrutiny Committee Harrogate’s predicted share of the deficit was projected at around £1.7m.

But, he said, the figure should make no impact on services.

Mr Chalk said: “For Harrogate, we have no intention in the first year of making any major service changes.

“In future years, there may be changes that we want to make but we need to take stock.”

Mr Chalk appeared alongside representatives from Hambleton, Richmond and Whitby, and Scarborough and Ryedale CCGs to talk about the next steps as the CCGs take over health services.

Councillors pressed them to reveal more details of their organisations’ plans for the near future.

Mr Chalk said they aimed to deliver “what the local population wants and needs” from Harrogate district’s health service.

He added: “I think the financial problems will be much easier to manage at a local level.

“I don’t think the problems are insurmountable, and I don’t see any major service changes in the near future.”