Last week the Independent Reconfiguration Panel published its advice concerning the Meeting Patients’ Needs NHS service reconfiguration in East Lancashire.
Our remit is to provide advice to the Secretary of State for Health who then makes the final decision on changes to local health services. In this case the changes had already been implemented on the grounds that not to do so would have compromised patient safety.
In these circumstances, we advised the Secretary of State for Health that the referral from Lancashire County Council Health Scrutiny Committee was not suitable for a full review and instead recommended local action.
The Secretary of State for Health accepted our advice in full.
It is now for the local NHS, with local authorities, to act on the advice in the interests of local health services and people.
DR PETER BARRETT