England

Friarage and James Cook hospitals shuttle bus to expand

Friarage Hospital
Image caption The shuttle bus will run between the two hospitals 10 times a day.

A free shuttle bus service connecting a hospital in North Yorkshire with one on Teesside is to expand.

Maternity services at Friarage Hospital were downgraded in October, so pregnant women or children with complicated medical conditions have to travel to Middlesbrough's James Cook Hospital.

A mini-bus for patients and visitors, will be replaced by a 25-seater bus.

During the pilot, which will run until 31 March, usage will be monitored to determine the future of the service.

Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group said it was investing £2,000 a month for the larger bus.

Dr Charles Parker, from the group, said: "We know from the consultation regarding children's and maternity services at the Friarage that transport links is a significant issue for local people.

"We want to make sure that there is a large enough shuttle bus in operation to meet demand."

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