I picked up the Darlington and Stockton Times (December 13 edition) which serves a large part of North Yorkshire and discovered that, just like Dewsbury Hospital, Northallerton’s Friarage Hospital is scheduled to have its maternity and paediatric services downgraded with the loss of the current consultant-led service.
But the difference is that the Richmondshire Council Leader and his colleagues have done their research, visiting several similar-sized hospitals in Scotland and the West Country.
As a result they have put forward a plan to maintain a round-the-clock consultant-led maternity and paediatric service for a fraction of the cost quoted by their local Clinical Commissioning Group.
More importantly, they have secured the backing of their local MP, William Hague. In applauding the work that created the alternative proposal, Conservative MP and Foreign Secretary Mr Hague said: “If it is not adopted, I and many other local people will want to know in great detail why it cannot be made to work”.
If such a proposal is being seriously pursued in Northallerton, why not in Dewsbury? Perhaps our MP could adopt Mr Hague’s line and challenge our own North Kirklees CCG to find a way to retain our maternity and paediatric services. How about it, Mr Reevell?