18 May 2022


This statement covers the period from the meeting of the County Council on 16 February 2022 to the County Council elections on 5 May 2022




The Scrutiny of Health Committee has a responsibility to review any matter relating to the planning, provision and operation of health services in the County.  A key part of that responsibility is requiring NHS bodies to consult health scrutiny on proposals for substantial developments or variations of local health service provision.


Committee meeting on 11 March 2022

The committee last met on 11 March 2022, using Microsoft Teams for a live broadcast meeting.  At that meeting, committee members received detailed presentations on: the NHS response to and recovery from the pandemic; Covid-19 prevalence in North Yorkshire; the performance of the newly redeveloped Whitby Hospital; and capital investment in Scarborough Hospital and the development of new urgent, emergency and critical care facilities and hyper acute stroke services for the North Yorkshire population.


There were no public questions/statements at the committee meeting.


Outlined below are some of the areas that the committee has been looking at in-depth.


Whitby Hospital

The committee has scrutinised the plans for the re-development of the Whitby Hospital site for the past six years.  The hospital plays a key role in the delivery of health services on the east coast and links in with larger hospitals like the James Cook, Scarborough and York.  The start of the major structural work was March 2020 and it will be completed by June 2022.  Work is also underway to have an Urgent Treatment Centre on site.  This would be a significant up-grade from the existing Minor Injuries Unit.


Committee members welcomed the work that has been done and the commitment that has been made to the long term future of the hospital.  They remarked on the very positive feedback from local residents and services users about the quality of the development and the range of services available.  The committee were interested to see whether more diagnostics could be offered at the site.


Scarborough Hospital

The committee received an update on progress with the modernisation of the Scarborough Hospital site and the capital investment of £47 million to develop new urgent, emergency and critical care facilities.  The committee heard that the new building will provide a combined Emergency Department, Same Day facilities and Acute Medical Unit; combined level 1, 2 and 3 Critical Care facilities; and improved site resilience and flexibility.  The new development is expected to be fully in use by January 2024.


The committee welcomed the progress being made and the improvement to services that will result.  As with the discussions about Whitby Hospital, there was significant interest in understanding how a broad range of diagnostic, assessment and outpatient services could be located at Scarborough, reducing the need for patients to travel to Hull, York and elsewhere.


Hyper acute stroke services

The committee has a long standing interest in the provision of hyper acute stroke services in the county and the move away from local delivery to centralised, specialist services.  At the March meeting the committee was given an overview of some performance data and noted that further work is needed on the hyper acute stroke pathway to enable rapid repatriation home or to a nearby hospital.


A local performance dashboard is in development that should enable some key performance indicators to be tracked, including: stroke admissions; Thrombolysis and Mechanical Thrombectomy; arrival and thrombolysis; and 6 month follow up.  This is welcomed as it will enable patient outcomes to be tracked and so a better understanding of the impact of the service changes.


Mental health services

At the December 2021 meeting of the committee, assurances were sought that the temporary closure of the Esk ward at Cross Lane Hospital, Scarborough due to staffing pressures would not become permanent and that efforts were underway to ensure its prompt re-opening.  I am pleased to note that the committee was informed on 27 April 2022 that the Esk ward has now been re-opened.


The next meeting of the committee will be at 10am on 17 June 2022. 





29 April 2022