On 4th November, after a lively debate, the Yorkshire and Humber Liberal Democrats overwhelmingly backed a motion from Richmond LibDems for local accountability for the NHS.

Richmondshire Branch Chair, Philip Knowles, said that decisions affecting patients in North Yorkshire are increasingly made by organisations outside the County and without any accountability to the people or their elected representatives. The current reviews of the Mental Health provision and A&E & acute care are a case in point. Decisions on the future of The Friarage are being made in Middlesbrough and Darlington – not in North Yorkshire

He argued that the NHS areas should map to the areas where people live and work and decisions should be made locally with a proper understanding of what the implications will be. He added, ‘North Yorkshire has a population of over 600,000 people but decisions are made by people who don’t understand the rural nature of where we live.’

Philip says that the plan is to put down a motion at the Party Conference in spring in an attempt to make it a national policy.

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