Coun­cil­lors rap unit plans

Sunday Sun - - News -

COUN­CIL­LORS have crit­i­cised plans to move vas­cu­lar ser­vices to Sun­der­land un­der new pro­pos­als from NHS bosses.

As part of a strate­gic re­view, the re­gion’s ser­vice is set to down­size to three vas­cu­lar hubs in Mid­dles­brough, New­cas­tle and Sun­der­land.

Fol­low­ing a clin­i­cal re­view, health bosses rec­om­mended to move ex­ist­ing vas­cu­lar ser­vices from Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal of North Durham to Sun­der­land Royal Hos­pi­tal.

While pa­tients will still be able to ac­cess out­pa­tient clin­ics, scans and day case surgery in Durham, coun­cil­lors claimed the move could put pa­tients in ru­ral ar­eas at risk.

Mem­bers of Durham County Coun­cil’s Spe­cial Adults, Well­be­ing and Health Over­view and Scru­tiny Com­mit­tee heard an up­date on the scheme.

While coun­cil­lors backed the clin­i­cal case, sev­eral dis­puted in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by NHS bosses around travel times.

Coun Richard Bell raised con­cerns the changes would put pres­sure on the North East Am­bu­lance Ser­vice while Coun An­drea Pat­ter­son dis­puted the travel times pro­vided.

Coun­cil­lors also heard that the pro­pos­als were go­ing out for ‘en­gage­ment’ rather than a for­mal pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion.

Coun Amanda Hop­good added: “En­gage­ment in­sin­u­ates you’re go­ing to lis­ten and po­ten­tially change your mind but it’s dif­fer­ent. The de­ci­sion has been made.”

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