STRUCTURE: The “Seizing the Future” reconfiguration programme in County Durham and Darlington has been retrospectively approved as passing the government’s four tests for such changes.

The changes, which have already taken place, include concentrating acute services at Darlington Memorial Hospital and University Hospital of North Durham, with Bishop Auckland General Hospital becoming an elective and rehabilitation centre, with an urgent care centre.

The government’s tests announced last year are: Support from GP Commissioners, strengthened public and pateint involvement, clarity on the clinical evidence base, consistency with current and prospective patient choice.