Dorset NHS hospital shake-up agreed

NHS protest
Image caption Protesters gathered in Dorchester as health bosses waved through the cuts

Plans to reorganise NHS hospital services in Dorset, cutting beds and closing Poole's A&E, have been unanimously agreed by health bosses.

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) unveiled its recommendations last week, aimed at avoiding a projected funding shortfall of £158m by 2021.

Anti-cuts protesters gathered in Dorchester as the CCG's governing body met to approve the proposals.

More than 130 people packed into the Dorford Centre to hear the decision.

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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.

A question mark remains over the future of Dorchester's paediatric and maternity departments after the CCG agreed Dorset County Hospital should find ways to share a consultant-led service with Yeovil District Hospital in Somerset.

The CCG also agreed changes to mental health acute care 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.

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