AN MP said his commissioned report scrutinising the suspension of A&E services is near completion, following permission to take a campaign to High Court.

On Tuesday, Save Friarage Hospital group was granted a judicial review into South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's decision to temporarily suspend A&E services at the Friarage Hospital, in Northallerton, and replace it with an urgent care treatment centre.

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it took the step due to problems with the recruitment of key staff, including doctors and anaesthetists.

Speaking after the hearing at Leeds County Court, Holly Wilkinson, of the Save Friarage Hospital group, said: “One of the most concerning aspects of this recent move is that it could potentially put lives at risk – and that is simply unacceptable.

“We have campaigned long and hard on this issue and it is very welcome that our concerns are being treated seriously.

"The green light for the judicial review is great news and we hope this will all ultimately lead to the decision to suspend A&E services being overturned.”

A spokesperson for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are involved in constructive dialogue with those bringing the review.

"We have always stated that it is our intention to ensure that there is a full public consultation to agree on a long term, safe and sustainable future service model for the Friarage Hospital and this is scheduled to begin on September 13 2019."

In April, MP for Richmond Rishi Sunak enlisted and commissioned a healthcare management consultancy firm to scrutinise plans for the future of the Friarage Hospital.

Following this week's decision for a judicial review, Mr Sunak has confirmed his report is near completion.

Mr Sunak said: "I want to make sure we have left no stone unturned in this process as we seek to protect services at the Friarage.

"It is important that we have independent advice to help us scrutinise the Trust’s actions and what the doctors tell us about their vision for the future of the hospital.

"I am awaiting the completion of my in-depth report commissioned from leading healthcare consultants into the Trust's actions and proposals."