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:
"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.”
More top news
Beverley, Doncaster, Leeds, Northallerton, Ripon and York have also named as race starting venues for the nine-day event.
Visitors to a South Tyneside festival are being advised to expect delays due to tighter security in the wake of the UK terrorist attacks.
BAFTA-winning Brenda Blethyn OBE is among eight people being honoured by The University of Sunderland.