9:05pm Tuesday 22nd January 2013
By Peter Barron
AT times of crisis, there is a need for leadership.
There can be no doubt that North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust is in crisis. It is a crisis that is getting worse with every day that passes.
But there appears to be precious little in the way of leadership.
Health services in the county must implement at least £55m in savings in the coming year in order to prevent debts from spiralling. Without urgent action, North Yorkshire's NHS could face a potential deficit of £156m by 2016.
The trust's response was to pay auditors KPMG £320,000 to produce a report on the way forward - but the report has been finalised without any firm recommendations and no agreement on how the ever-deepening black hole can be tackled.
Trust chairman Kevin McAleese told a meeting today that he was embarrassed that the report lacked any proposals. So he should be.
Jim Clark, chairman of the county's Scrutiny of Health Committee, described it as a "farce". It is a description that will be underlined in our front page headline tomorrow.
There are valid reasons why North Yorkshire's health services are in the mire. The county receives £213 less per patient annually than the regional average, despite it being the most rural PCT area and having a high proportion of elderly residents.
But the Government has not responded to calls for more funding and the deficit is mounting at an alarming rate.
It is an absolute mess. The dithering has to stop - and so does the wasting of taxpayers' money on pointless reports.
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