AN emergency public meeting has been called as concern spirals over downgrading of services at the Friarage Hospital.

Residents, councillors and town leaders have lined up to protest over moves by South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to make what they say are temporary changes to critical care and A and E at the Friarage.

Richmond MP Rishi Sunak called the meeting at 6.15pm on Friday March 22 in Northallerton School and Sixth Form College, five days before the town's A and E department is downgraded to an urgent treatment centre.NHS managers are also attending.

Mr Sunak said: "I am grateful that the hospital’s and Trust's two most senior doctors have agreed to answer constituents’ questions about the worrying situation at the hospital.

"The sudden decision to make these changes at our local hospital has provoked great concern and this will be an opportunity for people to voice those concerns directly to the doctors best placed to answer them."