A JUDICIAL review against the planned closure and reform of health services across the county will be held this summer.

Defend Dorset NHS’s full judicial review hearing against Dorset Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) proposal of reforming NHS services in Dorset will be heard by judges at London’s Administrative Court on July 17 and 18.

Dorset CCG’s proposed reorganisation, which is aimed at avoiding a projected funding shortfall, estimated to be at least £158m a year by 2021, will see the closure of five of 13 community hospitals across Dorset - including one on Portland and in Wareham, as well as that of Poole’s Accident and Emergency department.

Alongside this, the CCG also agreed Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester should find ways to share its paediatric and maternity departments with Yeovil District Hospital in Somerset.

Health chiefs at the group have also agreed to relocate mental health and acute care which include the closure and relocation of beds at the Linden Unit in Weymouth and the creation of extra inpatient beds at St Ann’s Hospital in Poole and Forston Clinic near Dorchester.

But Defend NHS Dorset claim the plans will leave tens of thousands of Dorset residents and over a million visitors without access to A&E and maternity services within the ‘golden hour’, and will lead to the lives of many patients being put unnecessarily at risk.

The campaign group would also be challenging the logistics of the closure plans and hoped to have the authorities’ claims about replacement services looked into. Currently, the group are also £250 short of their £10,500 total target required to fund legal costs associated with the judicial review.

In a statement, the group, said: “We’ve got our full hearing dates on July 17 and 18. The judicial review will address the issues of the closure of beds before staffed replacement services are in place; unsafe travel times to access A&E and maternity services and that aspects of the ‘consultation’ the CCG carried out on these changes were so misleading that they render the consultation unlawful.”

“Please continue to support our case to Save Poole A&E and Maternity and Dorset NHS beds.”

A spokesman for public law firm Leigh Day confirmed that they were providing legal support for the hearing.