A Judicial Review of the Dorset Clinical Services Review (CSR) has found that it met all legal requirements.
Commenting on the decision, Martyn Webster, Manager of Healthwatch Dorset, said:
The outcome of the Judicial Review means that the process NHS Dorset followed has been found to satisfy the legalities. But it does not mean that the concerns some local people have about changes to our health services are not valid, nor does it mean those concerns are going to go away. If these changes to our health services are made, there will be winners and losers. Some people will find that their services improve and they'll get better access to better care. But the concerns that people have centre round the potential losers - people who may find that community beds in their own area have gone and/or they're having to travel further to get the acute hospital services they need - and the potential for those longer journeys to put them at more risk than they were before. It doesn't matter how good a service is if you can't get to it, or can't get to it in time. The outcome of the Judicial Review is not a green light for the NHS to forge ahead with changes regardless of people's valid concerns. In fact, they will need to show even more than ever that they are listening to people's concerns, taking them seriously and involving local people in the design of future services.