I would share your delight (“Delight as services to stay at hospital” Dec 21) had I not read carefully the Clinical Commissioning Group’s statement on the subject.

The news, so far as it goes, is good, but in truth it goes nowhere near as far as your headline or the CCG’s additional spin suggests.

There was to have been very shortly a final decision about the sharing of paediatric responsibilities between Dorchester and Yeovil.

That is now deferred while a full Clinical Services Review is held in Somerset, a process which is likely to take at least the three years that it has taken in Dorset. Only then will we have a definitive decision.

Meanwhile, the Dorset CCG has undertaken only that it is their “intention to work to maintain” a 24-hour, consultant-led paediatric service in Dorchester; they will now “carry out a review” and they “will need to agree a way forward in the new year” when “if a sustainable model can be found then we will consult with the public”.

They will presumably not consult if they come to the conclusion, on whatever grounds, that there is no such way forward.

The “degree of certainty” that the statement offers, couched in very provisional language, is still well short of a decision and offers, indeed, only a certain extension of uncertainty.

I look forward to news early next year that will justify the headline’s delight , if only for some three years or so.

Meanwhile, I shall watch the CCG’s announcements very carefully.

Barry Tempest
Romulus Close