HEALTH bosses are pushing ahead with renewed plans to downgrade Chase Farm Hospital.

The health trusts in Enfield, Haringey, and Barnet have decided the proposed changes to hospital services have met four test set by health secretary Andrew Lansley, and are recommending the plans are approved by NHS London.

This afternoon's announcement is the latest blow to the campaign to preserve services at Chase Farm, and contradicts savage criticism from Enfield politicians that a review of the plans – dubbed the Case for Change – had failed to properly reconsider the proposals and the views of patients and GPs had not been taken into account.

Richard Sumray, chairman of NHS Haringey who headed up the cross-borough team reviewing the plans, said: “There was much debate and discussion amongst our members yesterday and we reached a consensus that, from the evidence presented to us, the four tests laid down by the secretary of state in May have been met.

“The implementation of the changes to hospital and community health care services was halted while we undertook this review. It’s now time to get that implementation back on track.”

It stands in stark contrast to a scrutiny panel at Enfield Council's view that all the test had been failed, and to Enfield North MP Nick de Bois's assertion that he had yet to see support for the plans among local GPs.

A consortium of Enfield GPs, in an open letter, this week attacked the process and called for a major rebuilding programme at Chase Farm instead of it losing maternity and children's service and its 24/7 Accident and Emergency department.

The health trusts say the proposals have “broad support” from practicing doctors in Haringey, Barnet, and South Hertfordshire, but less than half of Enfield GPs were in favour, particularly to the idea of an urgent care centre replacing the round-the-clock A&E service at Chase Farm.

The plans will now be passed on to NHS London for a further assessment, with a decision likely in January next year.

However, Enfield councillors and MPs have already resolved to appeal directly to minister Andrew Lansley if they are unsatisfied with today's results of the review.