Consulting with the public about the future of urgent care provision at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton

Instances of engagement with the public

Public consultation events, assisting with facilitation

Focus groups moderated


A shortage of staff had affected South Tees Hospital Foundation Trust’s ability to provide safe, 24 hour, high quality A&E services at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, and the Trust had replaced A&E services with an Urgent Treatment Centre that provided 24 hour care to patients.

Due to national workforce shortages, the Trust did not believe it would be able to permanently recruit to be able to reopen the A&E department. Using information from previous engagement programmes with the public, the Trust developed a vision and model for the future of the Friarage Hospital and options for the future of local urgent care.

Enventure Research was commissioned by the North of England Commissioning Support (NECS) and the South Tees Hospital Foundation Trust to conduct a programme of public consultation regarding the vision and model, with independent analysis of the feedback.


The consultation was multi-faceted, aiming to engage with as much of the local population as possible. Enventure Research co-designed a questionnaire with NECS and the South Tees Hospital Foundation Trust. Experienced interviewers conducted the survey with 601 residents face-to-face across the Hambleton and Richmondshire districts. The survey could also be completed online or via a paper survey form. The consultation was promoted by widespread leafleting, newspaper, radio and television promotion, extensive social media coverage and targeted communication.

To support the consultation, researchers from Enventure Research moderated four focus groups with members of the public using a tailored focus group guide in Northallerton, Richmond and Stokesley. In addition, Enventure Research co-facilitated 13 public consultation events, capturing feedback about the Trust’s vision and model for analysis. Feedback from Voluntary Community Sector Organisations (VCSOs), special interest groups, a parish council, meetings with Trust staff, and emails, letters and formal responses were also analysed independently by Enventure Research.


Enventure Research collated and analysed all of the consultation feedback, comprising 2,064 instances of engagement with the public. Enventure Research provided NECS and the South Tees Hospital Foundation Trust with an independent comprehensive report based on the consultation findings. The report highlighted a widespread preference for a 24/7 Urgent Treatment Centre, but also a general uncertainty amongst the public about where to go and when for their healthcare needs, and concerns about having to travel far for care in an emergency. The findings from the consultation were used to help inform decisions about the future of local urgent care provision at the Friarage Hospital.

“Enventure Research supported us throughout with advice, planning and delivery, and consistently delivered work of a high standard. The communication was excellent from the whole team, and work was always delivered on time. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Enventure Research to others and am very pleased with the service they delivered. Our partners also commented that they were extremely pleased with the market research element of the project. Thanks to all involved.”

Rebecca Hassack

Communications Officer, NECS