Campaigners say they'll continue to fight proposals to downgrade children's and maternity services at a North Yorkshire hospital.
Their pledge comes after the Health Secretary's decision not to order an independent investigation into the plans for The Friarage in Northallerton.
The group proposing the changes is welcoming Jeremy Hunt's decision, but patients say they feel let down.
Dr. Vicky Pleydell, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:
– Dr. Vicky Pleydell, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG
"We are extremely pleased that the Independent Reconfiguration Panel has agreed we need to take action around the issues facing the children's and maternity services at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.
"The Secretary of State has given us the go ahead to start the consultation and this shows he has confidence in the process we have followed so far."
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP has decided against ordering an independent investigation into proposals to reduce children's and maternity services at Northallerton's Friarage Hospital.
A Department for Health spokesperson confirmed Mr Hunt's decision in a statement, which said:
– Spokesperson, Department for Health
"The Health Secretary agrees with the advice of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel that there should now be local consultation on the planned changes to children’s and maternity services at the Friarage Hospital.
"This will give local people and stakeholders the opportunity to look at all viable options and give their view in a fair, open and rigorous process that seeks the best possible solution.”
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP has announced that he will not order an independent investigation into proposals to reduce children's and maternity services at Northallerton's Friarage Hospital.
Consultation on the future of services will now go ahead at a local level. However, campaigners fighting to save the unit say Mr Hunt's decision is "devastating" and that the consultation only offers options which would scale back the hospital's services and not maintain them.
Campaigners added that they had hoped Mr Hunt would intervene, and describe his decision not to as a bitter blow.