Disappointment over new surgery

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HOPES for a new doctors surgery in Hunmanby have suffered a major blow after health chiefs revealed a development could be at least three years away.

The disappointing news came in a meeting between residents and local health workers with Simon Cox, the NHS Locality Director for the Scarborough area.

Mr Cox said the NHS was undergoing a complex reorganisation meaning Primary Care Trusts and community services would be transferred to the York Foundation Hospital and not Scarborough.

The outcome means no new funding for facilities will be allocated for the next three years dashing any plans for a development in Sands Lane.

Cllr Harvey, who organised the meeting after a previous debate in November - where the NHS barred the press - said he wanted answers on how the changes will affect Hunmanby residents in light of the closure of the village’s clinic last year.

Cllr Harvey pointed out that Hunmanby has some of the highest levels of long-term illnesses in the country, such as coronary heart disease and heart failure, and said it appeared the NHS were not giving enough support to the village.

He said: “What became apparent at the meeting when I mentioned the illnesses at Hunmanby Surgery was that we are not a target area because we do not have high levels of poverty, like Eastfield, for example.

“However, when you compare Hunmanby to Eastfield Practice, we are far worse.

“While Eastfield may be a more deprived area than Hunmanby, we have practically no health promotion in this rural community, all our health related groups are self-funded by the community, like pop-ins and we have no Sure Start, facilities, community workers and state funded organisations like Eastfield.

“What we do have is a growing elderly population with diseases rising each year along with the demands on our over stretched surgery.

“The closure of the clinic has reduced health provision in the village and I find it very sad as there needs to be more involvement by the NHS in this area.

“So much can be done to improve the quality of life through self-help groups, exercise classes, and health care, healthy living and eating promotion in the community.”

Representatives from the doctor’s surgery and dental practice attended the meeting, with the latter calling for increase funding for treatment locally on the NHS which has been declined despite identifying funds in the primary care trust budget. It was also said that as Hunmanby Surgery is as an old building it would cost the NHS little to run.

Cllr Harvey pointed out the NHS had also saved money by closing Hunmanby Clinic and had received £23,707 from an insurance claim in 2009 for damage to the building.

However, he said Mr Cox could not answer how much money has been saved by the closure or how the insurance money was used.

Cllr Harvey said he was concerned that the NHS were making decisions without consulting local people and has organised and funded a Health Day in Hunmanby Community Centre on Saturday, March 19, from 1 to 4pm where doctors will take people’s blood pressure and weight.

He added: “Hunmanby is the original Big Society and I have written to 50 local organisations offering stall and display space.

“I would welcome some help organising the event, it is to show the NHS while they have closed our clinic.

“We have now no money for building a new surgery, we have a good community buildings, funded by the Hunmanby people which they should be using to provide health services in the community.

“For those who are able to promote giving blood, and offer a positive display of all the groups we have in the village bringing together young and old, to exchange information, promote each group, generate new members and raise awareness of what each group does in the village.”

For more information about the event contact Cllr Harvey on (01723) 890453.