15 MAY 2024




The Scrutiny of Health Committee has a responsibility to review any matter relating to the planning, provision and operation of health services within the County, including Ambulance Trusts and the policies of the Health and Care Partnerships. A key part of that responsibility is requiring NHS bodies to consult health scrutiny on proposals for substantial developments or variations to local health service provision. The Committee contributes to annual health checks by providing feedback to the Integrated Care Boards and the NHS Trusts serving North Yorkshire on their performance and the experiences that the Committee has had with them.


Committee Meeting on 8 March 2024

The Committee last met on 8 March 2024, in person in The Brierley Room at County Hallall.H. At that meeting, Members received detailed presentations on:

·         Airedale New Hospital Update

·         Neo Natal Services at Airedale

·         Update on the Autism Strategy


There were 2 public questions at the Committee meeting.

Question 1 was in relation to Care Providers and question 2 was in relation to the Autism strategy.

The questions and responses can be viewed here


Outlined below are further details in relation to some of the areas that the committee has been looking at.


Airedale New Hospital Update

The Committee was updated on the most up to date position on the new Airedale Hospital and points to note were:

· The current hospital will be replaced with a new hospital by 2030

· RAAC programme continuing to install a range of structural supports across the hospital to maintain safety and service delivery

· Build using modern methods of construction – e.g., the new intensive care unit

· A summary of the phased construction plan

Phase 1 – Planning And Preparation (Estimated 2023-24)

Phase 2 – Getting The Site Ready (Estimated 2024-25)

Phase 3 – Designing The Hospital (Estimated 2025-26)

Phase 4 – Planning Consent (Estimated 2026)

Phase 5 – Building The Hospital (Estimated 2026-30)

· A summary of the current position (Phase 1)

· Public Engagement

· Next steps

· Current RAAC update.


There then followed a discussion around what the integrated care service would look like and other logistical areas such as parking and public transport.



Neo Natal Services at Airedale.

The Committee received a welcome and informative update bringing members up to date with the Neo Natal services at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and highlighted the following elements;

• Background

• Overview of Neonatal Care

• Update on Airedale services

• Impact for patients and families

• Activity and travel analysis

• Patient feedback and system engagement

• Summary and next steps


The Trust and NHSE asked to seek the views and support of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the change.


Airedale has on average carried out an average of 2 days intensive care per month and the recommendations of the Neonatal Critical Care Transformation Review state that: Local Neonatal Units should aim to undertake a minimum of 500 days of combined intensive and high dependency care per year. Services providing ongoing high dependency care should be expected to have higher levels of activity and all should work towards becoming services that provide at least 1000 combined Intensive Care/High Dependency days in the long term. Smaller services would be designated as Special Care Services. It was noted that units higher activity have better outcomes for babies. This change will ensure the highest quality of care for premature babies across the region. It was noted that supporting skills would be utilised across the area with education days and increased resources. This situation was not unique to Airedale and is a more common operating pattern.


Update on the Autism Strategy.

The Committee was pleased to welcome an update on the draft Autism Strategy.

The presentation served to provide members with an overview of the draft strategy, the consultation aims, the approach and participation rates to date, to encourage discussion and feedback from Members of the Scrutiny of Health Committee in order to contribute to the consultation and a summary of the next steps.

Some of the key points identified were;

· Working together to enable autistic people & their families to enjoy full,

   happy & healthy lives, this includes Health Services, Council Services

   and Key Partners

· Timeline of consultation events and participation figures to date

· 8 key priority areas of focus aligned to the national strategy and derived

   from extensive local engagement during 2023 with autistic people, their carers and

   partner agencies

· Public consultation aims and approach, and how that looks

· Encourage participation from the Committee

· Consultation closes on 15th March

· Ongoing monitoring post implementation.


There was praise for the presentation and the sessions that had been run in the community of which some members had attended. There was also commitment that there would be further contributions to the consultation.




Committee Work Programme

Having previously discussed at length the challenges facing healthcare across the County generally and in particular the areas the Committee felt would be a priority in terms of Scrutiny over the next 18-24 months, the workplan has been updated to reflect this.


The Committee is keen to work collaboratively and will therefore continue to link in with the Council’s Area Constituency Committees (ACC’s) to ensure focus is maintained at a local level and also the Scrutiny Board to facilitate a County wide perspective. The Committee will also continue to work closely with the Care and Independence Overview and Scrutiny Committee allowing continued joint working around social care.


The next meeting of the committee will be at 10am on 14th June 2024.