A JUDICIAL review of 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 Group's (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 Poole Hospital lose its accident and emergency, maternity and paediatric services to Bournemouth, as well as the closure of five of 13 community hospitals across Dorset.

Health chiefs have also agreed other changes, including those to acute mental health care.

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.

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.”

They added: “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 they were providing legal support for the hearing.