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.
More top news
Everton prove too strong for Middlesbrough, who leave the League Cup at the quarter finals.
Read Rob Nichols' thoughts ahead of Middlesbrough's game against Everton
Five men have been jailed for ram-raiding a cash machine from inside a shop in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.