THE sterile services departments at York and Scarborough hospitals are under review, following the merger of their health trusts.

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust says it is considering the future of the service – which ensures equipment used in operating theatres is sterile and safe to use – across the trust.

But a spokeswoman dismissed suggestions, made by a source to The Press, that a proposal had already been drawn up to close the York department and transfer the work to Scarborough hospital, with the loss of dozens of York jobs, and that management was currently in talks with staff and their unions.

The trust spokeswoman said it was looking at sterile services and how it might best be managed, now that York was one trust with Scarborough, but no staff had been given notice of redundancy.

She said no decision had been made, but a number of options were under consideration and a decision was likely in early summer.

“We are not in any form of consultation process with staff regarding their future roles, redundancy or redeployment.,” she said.

“This is because no decision has yet been made. All staff at both Scarborough and York have been briefed by local and senior managers, and Once a decision is made, full consultation with affected staff groups and union representatives will begin.”

Terry Cunliffe, regional officer with the union Unite, which represents many members of staff in sterile services, said he had not been informed but he would certainly want to be consulted fully before any decision was taken, rather than afterwards.

He added that the union would be opposed to the loss of any jobs in sterile services in York or anything that would impact on the level of service provided.