TWO Conservative MPs have expressed differing views on the planned shake-up of hospital services in Dorset – despite sharing a ward boundary.

South Dorset representative Richard Drax said he was disappointed by last week's announcement that the health secretary had given the green light to Dorset CCG's proposals, which will see the downgrading of Poole Hospital's A&E department.

As reported, over the next six years gradual changes to Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Poole Hospital will see the former become the area's major emergency care facility and the Longfleet Road site serving as the hub for planned care, alongside the creation of an urgent treatment centre.

Mr Drax told the Daily Echo: "I am disappointed with the outcome because it will mean longer journeys for those in my constituency, particularly in places like Swanage.

"It highlights the significance of the ambulance station remaining open in Swanage and this is even more so now.

"I will be writing to the head of the ambulance service and the CCG to stress the need for ambulances to be available 100 per cent of the time.

"South Dorset will be the most affected area. I am glad to see they are retaining maternity and child care at Dorset County Hospital."

While Mr Drax said he is concerned about the impact the hospital changes will have for residents in his constituency, Poole MP Sir Robert Syms said the current hospital format could not go continue unaltered.

"Poole Hospital is set to be totally revamped," said Sir Robert. "It will still be a very good hospital.

"I know and understand people have concerns. The reality is we will end up with better services. This will lead to the biggest investment in the NHS in Dorset and it will secure the future of the hospitals for the next 30 to 40 years."