Health boss clashes with local council

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A HEALTH chief has defended a consultation exercise into proposals to downgrade services at a North Yorkshire hospital after critics claimed it was “flawed”.

Dr Vicky Pleydell, clinical chief officer of Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group, said it had undertaken a “rigorous and robust” process during consultation over planned changes to maternity and children’s services at the Friarage Hospital.

She was responding to possible legal action by Richmondshire District Council which claims the process may have been legally flawed. Dr Pleydell said Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had yet to rule on the fairness of the consultation process and it was a “little premature” for Richmondshire to commit public money seeking legal advice when the process was unfinished.