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
A court's heard how a man accused of murdering his partner carried on with normal life in the days after he allegedly killed her.
Students in Newcastle were given puppies to beat exam stress and brighten up what is known as 'Blue Monday'.
Hundreds of balloons were released to remember Katie and mark what would have been her eighth birthday