Dr. Vicky Pleydell, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:
"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."
More top news
Durham Police add 'emergency lifelines', designed to save people from drowning, to response vehicles after an idea by front line officers.
A report was launched at this year's Conservative conference and follows the 'devolution revolution' speech from the Chancellor.
The pair defrauded Durham County Council out of nearly £100,000 but were given suspended sentences.