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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 July, 2005, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
Hospital decision sent for review
Frenchay Hospital
Some residents are opposed to the plans
A decision to downgrade a hospital in South Gloucestershire has been referred to the government.

In March, health bosses announced plans for Frenchay Hospital to become a community hospital with Southmead the site for the city's new super-hospital.

South Gloucestershire councillors voted on Tuesday to refer this decision to the Secretary of State for Health.

Patricia Hewitt can then refer it on to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) which would carry out a review.

'Stand or fall'

The IRP looks at contentious local health changes and will report back to Ms Hewitt, who has the power to overturn the initial decision.

Steve Webb, MP for Northavon, is against the changes: "No one wants this to drag on, but the people of South Gloucestershire feel ignored.

"This is the first time they feel listened to. We will stand or fall by the panel."

In a statement, the NHS organisations involved in the Bristol Health Service Plan, expressed their "disappointment" at the council's decision.

"This may delay many of our plans to move hospitals services to community hospitals and centres throughout South Gloucestershire and north Bristol and to build a modern, purpose-built hospital fit for the 21st Century," said Chris Born, chief executive of Bristol North Primary Care.

"We must have a new major hospital and we understand whichever site we choose will concern some people."

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