DESPITE the fact that they are both bureaucracies often working closely together (for instance in the care of the elderly), the health service and local authorities sometimes seem to find communication difficult.

Christchurch planners and local NHS bosses are clearly not on the same page at the moment when it comes to the future of the hospital site.

After Thursday’s rejection of the healthcare campus plan, health chiefs say the councillors don’t appreciate the financial constraints the NHS is under and, in a slightly ominous phrase, will now review what services can be provided.

But councillors say the scheme does not take enough account of the heritage of the site and that they’ve made that clear for months.

There’s always a certain amount of posturing in these situations. But a compromise needs to be reached.

Nobody wants health services in the borough at risk, as campaigners have made crystal clear many times.