A PUBLIC meeting is to be held to discuss ways of cutting local NHS spending in the face of a £1.6 million deficit.

NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will discuss details of the difficulties facing the health economy in Ryedale with residents at two open meetings – along with options to help meet those challenges.

The first of the public meetings will take place at Malton Rugby Club tomorrow (Wednesday), from 6pm to 8pm.

Residents will be presented with a number of measures to reduce local NHS spending and asked to decide which of the options NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG should consider further in an effort to recover the financial position from the £1.6 million deficit recorded in 2016-17.

Simon Cox, NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG chief officer, said: “We have a duty to deliver a balanced budget. Last year we were unable to do that and, as a result, NHS England placed us into a capped expenditure programme, along with NHS Vale of York CCG and York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

“Over the last six months we have been working with NHS England and NHS improvement on plans to recover our financial position, while cementing the sustainability of local health services and ensuring we can fulfil our obligations to patients.

“As part of our commitment to openness and transparency, we want to share those plans as they stand and have an honest conversation with residents about local health finances and what this will mean for future healthcare provision.

“Change is a necessity and it’s important our communities are involved in this process and work with us to find acceptable solutions.

“While we do face some hard choices to reduce our spending, the very ethos of the CCG is about improving the health and wellbeing of our communities and we will always try to commission services in a way that delivers the best outcomes for patients.”