Plans to downgrade children's services at Friarage Hospital in North Yorkshire will be referred to the Health Secretary.
There is local opposition to NHS Trust plans to reduce maternity services and scale back 24-hour paediatric care - some services would be transferred to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. Sarah Kelly reports.
The final decision over the future of children's and maternity services at Northallerton's Friarage Hospital may be referred to the Health Secretary.
Councillors voted unanimously to pass the matter onto the health scrutiny committee for referral to the Government.
The process would delay any changes at the Friarage by a year. Meanwhile councillors will also visit small hospitals elsewhere in the country to gather evidence to show that full children's services could be maintained at Northallerton, saving jobs there
A family who live two hours away from their nearest hospital in North Yorkshire say that if proposals to cut back children's and maternity services go ahead because of difficulties in recruiting staff there - babies' lives could be at risk.
It comes on the day that a new survey has found that the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton should have no problems in recruiting new doctors or consultants.
Thousands of people attended a rally in North Yorkshire to protest about proposed cuts at the Friarage hospital in Northallerton. The plans would see no overnight paediatric or special baby care at the hospital and those who use the hospital say it will put lives at risk.
*A rolling road closure *will be put into place in Northallerton this afternoon when hundreds of people are expected to take part in a rally and march over the future of paediatric and maternity services at the town's Friarage Hospital.
The rally is due to begin at County Hall at 2pm. Among the speakers will be local MP William Hague..The rally will be followed, at approximately 2.40pm, by a march to the Friarage Hospital by way of South Parade and the High Street.
Rather than closing the roads, North Yorkshire County Council will control the traffic by means of a rolling road closure.
A meeting is taking place later for those wanting to have their say about maternity services at the Friarage Hospital, Northallerton. A review into children's and maternity services at the hospital has found that the inpatient service is unsustainable.
A meeting will take place at Masham Town Hall at 5:15pm, starting with an exhibition and video. A rally by campaigners hoping to keep it open is planned for later this month.