For months Lib Dem Councillors, including Andy Canning and Ros Kayes, have been campaigning against local NHS plans for cuts and closures. Now, this week, Dorset's Health Scrutiny Committee has unanimously agreed to refer the proposed reorganisation of Dorset's health service in Dorset CCG's Clinical Services Review to the Secretary of State for Health for independent review. The referral is being made on the basis of the proposal not being in the interests of the health service under section 11 of the 2000 Health Act.
Councillors expressed concern about a number of issues, including:
- inadequate travel time assessments
- lack of clear financial planning
- incomplete assessment of the impact of the changes on vulnerable people
- 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)
Cllr Ros Kayes 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."