Dorset NHS shake-up campaigners refused appeal

Campaigner outside the High Court
Image caption Defend Dorset NHS launched a second legal challenge against the shake-up plans in September

Campaigners fighting the reorganisation of hospital services have been refused an appeal in the High Court.

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has begun a shake-up, including shutting Poole's A&E, after winning a judicial review in July last year.

Defend Dorset NHS launched a second legal challenge against the plans in September.

The reasons for the decision will be handed down in a written judgement in a few weeks.

The shake-up aims to avoid a projected funding shortfall of at least £158m a year by 2021.

Image caption Defend Dorset NHS has argued travel times from some areas would be too great

The plans are currently being reviewed by health secretary Matt Hancock and Dorset Healthcare Trust NHS Board will hold its next meeting on 31 July.

Dorset CCG said it was "disappointed" not to be able to move "more rapidly" on its plans as a result of court proceedings.

"We recognise that the judicial review and appeal process is right and proper, however it has so-far involved considerable cost to the publicly-funded NHS," Tim Goodson, chief officer of Dorset CCG, said.

The group added it hoped the decision made at the High Court would "reassure people that we acted properly in reaching the decisions".

Under the CCG Clinical Services Review, Poole's A&E, maternity and paediatric services will be lost to Bournemouth, which will become the area's main emergency hospital.

Poole is set to become a centre for planned treatment and operations.

Image caption Several protests have been held opposing the clinical services review
Image caption Campainers crowdfunded the initial challenge

Changes to mental health acute care include the closure and relocation of beds at Weymouth's Linden unit and the creation of extra inpatient beds at St Ann's Hospital in Poole and Forston Clinic near Dorchester.

Beds at Portland Hospital have already been closed.

Campaign group Defend Dorset NHS, which has raised more than £21,000 in its legal bid, has argued travel times from areas like Swanage would be too great if the changes go ahead.

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