As the NHS celebrates it's 65th birthday there is a big shift taking place away from general hospitals towards specialist hospitals. Local council's don't run the NHS. But councils do have an interest in what it does, where it does it and how well it does it.
If there is a proposal for a hospital to stop doing something and for it to be done by another hospital then the local council will be expected to have an opinion on the matter. The danger is that councillors will be swayed more by politics than by clinical evidence.
On my own patch there is Charing Cross Hospital which is being rebuilt and the services it offers changing. Some have suggested that as the existing building will be demolished that means the hospital will cease to exist. But it is a phased rebuilding. The existing tower block at the hospital is in poor condition. £90m has been agreed for a new state of the art hospital on the existing site. At no stage during the building process will the hospital close. To say we will "lose the hospital" is like saying you would "lose your car" if you trade in a Skoda for a Rolls Royce.
At least 85% of patients at the hospital would continue to be treated there. However they would still allow for greater specialisation, which the NHS tells us would save 130 lives a year. At the moment the mortality rate is much higher for patients admitted at weekends than week days - as they are more likely to see junior doctors rather than consultants.