Dorset NHS shake-up plans to go ahead

Artist’s impression of the planned Emergency Department at Royal Bournemouth Hospital Image copyright Dorset NHS
Image caption An artist’s impression of the planned Emergency Department at Royal Bournemouth Hospital

Plans to reorganise hospital services in Dorset at a cost of £147m have been approved by the health secretary.

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

Poole will be redeveloped to become a centre for planned treatment and operations, with 14 operating theatres.

The plans were first put forward in 2015.

The proposals have gone through public consultation, independent scrutiny and various legal proceedings.

Tim Goodson, of NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, said "We are very pleased that we are now able to move forward."

Image copyright NHS Dorset
Image caption Under the plans the operating theatres at Poole Hospital will be redeveloped to create 14 operating theatres

The changes aim to avoid a projected funding shortfall of at least £158m a year by 2021.

In response to the decision, campaign group Defend Dorset NHS said: "People in Dorset have been completely let down."

The group which has been fighting the reorganisation of hospital services has argued that travel times from areas like Swanage would be too long.

In a statement the group said: "It is not rocket science that longer journeys for critically ill people will lead to deaths."

The reorganisation of services was reviewed by a government-appointed panel at the request of health secretary Matt Hancock.

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