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Plans for health services could be reviewed

Health Campaigners Dorford Centre

11:58am 14th November 2017
(Updated 8:29am 16th November 2017)

Dorset's Health Scrutiny Committee have unanimously agreed to refer the proposed reorganisation of health services in Dorset CCG's Clinical Services Review to the Secretary of State for Health for independent review.  

The referral is being made on the basis that the proposal is not in the interests of the health service under section 11 of the 2000 Health Act .

Councillors expressed concern about inadequate travel time assessments, lack of clear financial planning, and what they think is an incomplete assessment of the impact of the changes on vulnerable people.

They were also concerned about an overall bed reduction in Dorset to 178 beds, a 62 % reduction of beds at Poole hospital and the impact of the proposal to downgrade Poole A and E with a specialised Trauma centre to be at Bournemouth instead of Poole.

The committee hopes that the referral will be supported by the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee which represents Bournemouth and Hampshire as well as Poole and Dorset and a committee meeting to approve this will be held next month.

Cllr Ros Kayes who proposed the motion said: "The committee supported this unanimously for which I'm very grateful. They also supported continuing to refer this to the S o S on our own account should Dorset and Poole be outvoted by Bournemouth and Hampshire on the joint committee. It's clear that while an upgraded Bournemouth hospital will benefit some people at the east of the county, the other proposals and their impact on rural areas as well as  on the people of Poole show that there needs to be much more work done . Some of these proposals appear to be  not fit for purpose; others might actually damage residents - in particular because SWAST have missed their target of attending 75% of Dorset category 1 (imminent danger of loss of life) call outs in 6 of the last 7 months. "

Debby Monkhouse from Defend Dorset NHS said: "We know that 75,500 signed petitions against the CCG plans, which with the exception of saving the beds in Shaftesbury Community Hospital were largely ignored."

No final decision's been made yet on how maternity services would be shared between Dorchester and Yeovil and Defend Dorset NHS says that's not ideal, "We can only ask for a review of the decision that's have already been made. Basically by staggering the decisions its making it a very long and drawn up process," said Debby.

A spokesman for Dorset CCG told Wessex FM they are urgently seeking a meeting with the council to discuss their concerns.

Chairman of the Dorset Health Scrutiny Committee Cllr Bill Pipe said:

“Members of the 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.

“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 the matter is referred, the Secretary of State may ask for advice from the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP), who will make an initial assessment.

“Not all referrals to the Secretary of State will automatically be reviewed in full by the IRP – this is at the Secretary of State’s discretion.”


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