Councillors urge review of Dorset NHS hospital shake-up
A decision to reorganise NHS hospital services in Dorset should be reviewed by the government, councillors say.
Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) agreed recommendations last month including the closure of Poole's A&E, paediatric and maternity services.
The county council's health scrutiny committee said it had concerns about the loss of beds and services.
The authority's joint committee will now consider referring the decision to the secretary of state for health.
Under the plans, Poole Hospital will lose its A&E, maternity and paediatric services to Bournemouth, which will become the main emergency hospital, with Poole becoming a centre for planned treatment and operations.
The CCG also agreed Dorset County Hospital should find ways to share its paediatric and maternity departments with Yeovil District Hospital in Somerset.'Lack of integration'
Changes to mental health acute care include the closure and relocation of beds at the Linden unit in Weymouth and the creation of extra inpatient beds at St Ann's Hospital in Poole and Forston Clinic near Dorchester.
The changes are aimed at avoiding a projected funding shortfall of £158m by 2021.
Dorset County Council's health scrutiny committee voted to "refer the matter of the Clinical Services Review to the Secretary of State for Health, pending further consideration by the Joint Committee by 15 December".
Committee chairman Bill Pipe said: "The referral is being made as we have concerns about travel times, reductions in hospital bed provision, reduction in Accident and Emergency services at Poole Hospital and that an insufficient Equalities Impact Assessment has been carried out.
"Members also felt that there has been a lack of integration with the ambulance service and there wasn't a clear financial plan in place."
If referred, the secretary of state may request an initial assessment from the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.