NHS bosses have dismissed calls to reinstate a minor injuries service at GP practices, despite being accused of failing residents.

Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby clinical commissioning group (CCG) leaders said as it continued to face financial challenges, making a U-turn on attending to cuts, sprains and bruises at GP surgeries would mean cuts in other services instead.

The CCG’s clinical chair Dr Charles Parker and Jim Hayburn, its chief financial officer were responding to calls from members of Richmondshire District Council’s scrutiny committee to preserve minor injuries services at Leyburn and Catterick after agreeing to keep the services at Reeth, Aysgarth and Hawes.

Mr Hayburn told the meeting the CCG was facing a £3m deficit for the financial year ending this week. He said the CCG was forecasting its deficit would be down to £1.6m for the coming financial year and that cutting the minor injuries service would save about £100,000.

Councillors repeatedly asked why the cutbacks had been introduced with no consultation, but Dr Parker said the CCG had raised the changes with local medical committee of GPs, which had provided “no feedback that this was a problem area”.

Cllr Lorraine Hodgson said: “I feel like we are going back a step. You are saying practices within a 25-mile radius of Northallerton won’t get the minor injuries service, but it takes at least 30 minutes to get to Northallerton from Richmond, and that’s on a good run and if you have got a car. If you don’t you’re snookered. There’s three buses a day. When you did your equation, did you factor any of that in?”

Dr Parker replied: “We didn’t. We didn’t come up with a solution for the whole economy rather than just the health economy. In some ways you could say that this is a backward step on care closer to home, which is something we have pushed a lot as a clinical commissioning group.”

He added the minor injuries service had been selected for cuts because it did not affect the most ill patients.

Cllr Hodgson said: “I know it’s about money, but it’s also about delivering a service. I think you are failing us.”

After the meeting, Upper Dales councillor John Blackie welcomed the U-turn on the three Wensleydale and Swaledale practice services and called for other GP surgeries to also have their minor injuries funding reinstated.