Dorset's scrutiny committees are considering the NHS DorsetVision - the NHS proposed re-organisation of Dorset's health service.
NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have published a Clinical Services Review, called DorsetVision, which is their proposed reorganisation of Dorset's health service. The proposals include:
The closure of Poole Hospital's A&E, paediatric and maternity services.
- 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.
- Dorset County Hospital finding ways to share its paediatric and maternity departments with Yeovil District Hospital in Somerset.
- Mental health acute care changes including 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.
However 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 whether to refer the matter to the Secretary of State for Health.
In more detail, the Dorset Health Scrutiny Committee unanimously agreed on 13th November to recommend referring these proposals for review by the Secretary of State for Health, pending further consideration by the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee - Clinical Services Review by the 15th December. The referral is being made on the basis of the proposals not being in the interests of Dorset's health service under section 11 of the 2000 Health Act.
Councillors expressed concern about a number of issues, including:
- an overall bed reduction in Dorset to 178 beds
- a 62 % reduction of beds at Poole hospital
- the impact of the proposal to downgrade Poole A & E (with a specialised trauma centre to be at Bournemouth instead of Poole)
- inadequate travel time assessments
- lack of clear financial planning
- incomplete assessment of the impact of the changes on vulnerable people
Cllr Ros Kayes of the West Dorset Liberal Democrats, who proposed the motion, said
"The committee supported this unanimously for which I'm very grateful. 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 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 South West Ambulance Service Trust 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."
The exact wording of the resolution follows:
1. That the Dorset Health Scrutiny Committee make a referral to the Secretary of State for Health regarding the outcome of the Clinical Services Review, pending a meeting of the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee by 15 December 2017; and,
2. That the referral is made based on concerns about the proposed reduction in the number of acute hospital beds, the reduction in Accident and Emergency services at Poole Hospital, concerns about travel times, confidence in the ambulance service data, and the lack of a clear Equality Impact Assessment or financial plan.
The next meeting of the 'Joint Health Scrutiny Committee - Clinical Services Review' is scheduled to take place on the 12th December.
For details of DorsetVision see: