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Changes confirmed for healthcare in Dorset

The Governing Body of NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has confirmed the agreement of changes to local healthcare provision to help ensure high quality and sustainable services for now and future generations.

As part of the CCG's Clinical Services Review the Royal Bournemouth Hospital (part of The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) will become the major emergency hospital and Poole Hospital (Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) will become the major planned hospital for East Dorset.

The move will see the organisations working more closely together. It promises to bring investment of around £150m into local services, a new maternity unit for Bournemouth, more care delivered closer to home, improved services for people with mental health problems, an increase in community beds, although it will also involve the closure of some existing services. Urgent care will be available at all three acute hospitals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Tim Goodson, Chief Officer NHS Dorset CCG says: "The decisions made today give us a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in, and make changes to, services across the county, ensuring they are available for generations to come.

"Whilst we recognise that some people will not agree with them, we would like to reassure everyone that they were not taken lightly and are the result of hundreds of hours of work by local clinicians and members of the public."

Plans for a merger between the two Trusts were first proposed in 2011 but were blocked by the Competition Commission in 2013. Merger talks were re-opened in September 2016. Options for the future of local healthcare in Dorset were subject to a public consultation between December 2016 and February 2017 at which more than 18,500 people gave their views. It is being reported that this decision could lead to the two Trusts becoming one organisation within 12 months*.

For the full statement by the CCG go to:

*Reported by the Worcester News