Dorsets Health Services Reorganisation - High Court Verdict Awaited

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In October 2017, NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group's (DCCG) proposed a reorganisation of Dorset's Health Service in the hope of saving a projected funding shortfall of £158m by 2021. But this has undergone a High Court judicial review and the decision on this is awaited.

The Proposals 

The proposals, to be implemented over four years, include:

  • The creation of 13 community hubs across Dorset.
  • The closure of Poole Hospital's A&E, paediatric and maternity services.
    • Under the plans, Poole Hospital would lose its A&E, maternity and paediatric services to Bournemouth, which would become the main emergency hospital, with Poole becoming a centre for planned treatment and operations.
  • 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.

Previously the plans included sharing of the sharing of Dorset County Hospital's paediatric and maternity departments with Yeovil District Hospital in Somerset. But then the DCCG announced, on the 20th December, that the plans are now to keep a consultant-led maternity and overnight children's service in Dorchester. The CCG said the shift followed because Somerset CCG is now carrying out a full clinical service review.

The reorganisation is further explained in DCCG's DorsetVision web-site - see:

https://www.dorsetsvision.nhs.uk/

Scrutiny

In December 2017, Dorset County Council's "Health Scrutiny Committee" said it had concerns about the proposed loss of beds and services. Then, in December, the council's "Dorset Area Joint Committee" said the proposals would not be referred to the Government's Secretary of State for Health.

Pressure group "Defend Dorset NHS" then applied for a High Court judicial review of Dorset's health reorganisation plans and this was heard on the 17th and 18th July. The court's decision on this review is now expected in September.

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