North Yorkshire’s leaders are calling on the Government to address the low funding level for health services in the county as a matter of urgency.
County councillors are gravely concerned by the financial challenges faced by NHS North Yorkshire and York and have asked the Secretary of State to look at the impact of the national funding on a significantly rural and ageing population spread across the largest geography of any primary care trust cluster in the country.
County Councillor Clare Wood, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said:
Funding of the NHS in North Yorkshire is one of the most serious issues we face and one that I want to raise at the highest level of government. Historically under-funded for a number of years, we need this problem to be addressed, and urgently, if the population of North Yorkshire is not to face a reduction in services.
I am concerned about the short-term cost-saving measures that are currently being proposed for health services in North Yorkshire. I don’t believe these measures are going to help the county deal with its long-term, challenging health problems, which need investment in community health services.
North Yorkshire has a large number of older people, scattered across a large rural area. Demand on health and social care services are high and providing health services in such a large county is not accounted for in our funding.
I am asking the Secretary of State to consider North Yorkshire’s funding problems as a matter of urgency and have asked for investment in our community health services.
If we had the same level of funding per head of population as our neighbours in Cumbria we would see an increase of £160 million in our budget, making a significant difference to our health services in North Yorkshire.