In their latest letter to the Matt Hancock, Defend Dorset NHS argue there is no clinical evidence to support the proposed reconfiguration.
The dispute has been ongoing since 2018 when plans were put forward to reorganise East Dorset hospitals, with the campaign group frequently protesting the changes:
Campaigners fighting plans to move @Poole_Hospital A&E to #Bournemouth say they’re preparing for the next stage of their legal challenge. @NhsDefend will have a hearing at the Court of Appeal where three High Court judges will look again at their case. pic.twitter.com/RHrXohxxMD
— BBC Radio Solent (@BBCRadioSolent) February 26, 2019
Under the proposals, the emergency, maternity and paediatric departments at Poole would be closed, with the hospital becoming a centre for planned treatments and operations.
The Royal Bournemouth Hospital is set to become a Major Emergency Hospital.
Thelma Deacon, from Defend Dorset NHS, argues that travel times for some Dorset residents will be too long if the changes go ahead. The group say no proper risk assessment has been carried out and there is no evidence to suggest the reorganisation would improve outcome.
Listen to the full interview with Ms Deacon below:
Defend Dorset NHS’ arguments counter the claim put forward by the Dorset’s Clinical Commissioning Group.
The CCG says that Bournemouth will be able to offer rapid access and high-quality treatment, while Poole will provide efficient treatment of elective operations without the disruptions caused by emergency cases.
The plans are also hoping to avoid a shortfall of £158m a year by 2021.
In February this year, Defend Dorset NHS won their battle to have the case considered by the Court of Appeal.
A date for this legal hearing is yet to decided.