Council takes matters into its own hands: the fight to save services at Friarage
Richmondshire District Council has published results of its research into how small hospitals around the UK are coping.
It is part of a bid to save children's and maternity services at Northallerton's Friarage Hospital.
The survey focused on small hospitals such as Scarborough, Bassetlaw and the Isle of Wight, which all have 24/7 consultant-led children's and maternity services.
The research was commissioned because the District Council is fighting proposals to transfer services from Northallerton to Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital.
According to the authority, results show that several hospitals with similar birth figures to Friarage intend to maintain their services and appear confident that they can do so.
In addition, nearly all of them have had no problems recruiting staff when vacancies arise - a key outcome, as the NHS proposes to close services on the basis that Friarage may have difficulties recruiting in the future.
Councillor John Blackie, Leader of Richmondshire District Council, said: "What this key research shows is that where there is a willingness to retain local services - there is a way.
"Key players in the NHS locally need to come up with a unique solution to keep the services at the Friarage.
"If these other hospitals in the UK can do so, the question 'why can't they?' needs to be answered."