York & North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire hospital minor injuries units to close

Minor injuries units at two community hospitals in North Yorkshire are to close by the end of the year.

The service at the Friary Hospital in Richmond will end by December, while the unit at the Lambert Hospital in Thirsk will close in November.

The hospitals' trust said GP surgeries were able to deal with minor injuries and having such services at hospitals took staff away from in-patients.

A decision on Easingwold's minor injuries unit has been deferred.

Amanda Brown, from NHS North Yorkshire and York, said: "We were pleased with the level of involvement and the breadth of understanding shown during the public engagement exercise and I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to the process."

Patients 'at risk'

Grahame Dickinson, chairman of the Hambleton and Richmondshire Commissioning Group which had recommended the closures, said: "We have a duty to balance clinical issues with access to services.

"All GP surgeries in Hambleton and Richmondshire are funded to provide minor injuries services from 8am to 6pm during the week.

"Community hospitals have a prime responsibility to look after their in-patients who are often frail and elderly. These patients are put at risk when ward staff are called away to see minor injuries cases."

Mr Dickinson said the number of minor injuries cases seen at the units was one or two per day.

He said: "To train nurses and retain their skills to treat minor injuries in line with current requirements is not viable."

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