AN MP has urged health bosses to provide 24/7 urgent care at a hospital which saw its A&E services suspended earlier this year.

Northallerton and Richmondshire MP, Rishi Sunak called on health chiefs at the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to maintain the round-the-clock urgent care service, drafted in following the suspension of A&E at Northallerton’s Friarage Hospital in March.

The Northern Echo:

Mr Sunak, who said an enhanced urgent treatment centre was the “best possible option” for the 120,000 people it served, said the suggestion to permanently implement a service with reduced hours would led to constituents relying on Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital and Darlington Memorial Hospital.

Mr Sunak’s comments came as a consultation into the future of the Friarage Hospital’s urgent care services is set to go live on Friday, September 20.

The consultation, which will take place in the form of a meeting and an online survey, will give residents a say on whether or not urgent care should be provided on a 24/7 basis (option 1) or a 16-hours a day, daily basis between 8am and midnight (option 2).

The Northern Echo:

Mr Sunak said: “In recent months we have heard the doctors at the heart of the Friarage Hospital operation talk convincingly about the effectiveness of the emergency treatment arrangements they have put in place of what was an A&E department.

“While I appreciate the numbers of patients using the urgent treatment centre between midnight and 8am have been comparatively low, it is important that patients’ faith in their ability to be treated at the Friarage is maintained by ensuring this service is always available.

“The additional annual cost of providing the service overnight is substantial but I think this is a price worth paying to ensure patients across a large rural area have maximum access to what the doctors believe is a benchmark care model for small rural hospitals.”

On Friday, September 13, the North Yorkshire County Council Scrutiny of Health Committee meeting was held with the South Tees Medical Director and Clinical Lead in Emergency Care, Dr Adrian Clements and the Acute Commissioner of the Hambleton, Richmondshire & Whitby CCG.

The consultation period will commence on Friday, September 20 at Northallerton Town Hall between 10.15am and 12.15pm.

The online survey can be completed at