Anger over transfer of community hospitals

Residents in East Devon feel they should have been consulted on changes to the management of community hospitals and health services in the district.

A CHANGE of management at community hospitals and health services across the district has shocked residents, who say they should have been consulted.

Community hospitals in Honiton, Axminster and Seaton are in the hands of the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust.

Management of the hospitals was transferred from Devon Primary Care Trust on April 1 - before David Cameron and Nick Clegg announced changes to the NHS were being put on hold.

Many East Devon residents were unaware of the change and feel the public should have been consulted first and given the opportunity to have their say.

Lee Waygood, 20, of Honiton, said: “It would have been better if the NHS had consulted us.I didn’t know anything about the management switch.

“It does concern me a little, as more people will mean there could be less time for us in East Devon and that there are fewer resources to go around.”

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Ian Jarvis, 58, of Axmouth, said: “I didn’t know the management changes were happening.

“I don’t think they are a good idea. I think they should be allowed to run themselves as they know more about what the communities of East Devon want - not somebody who is not a part of the community.

“I heard nothing about it – if people are not aware of these things they will just go ahead.

“It could be the first stage of closing them.”

Rachel Moore, 43, of Honiton, said: “The Government seems to do these things behind closed doors and go ahead and do it.

“It will be very difficult for North Devon to know what the needs and concerns are for the local community here.

“I don’t like the way it has been done.

“Consultation is important and we should have been consulted.”

Brenda Woodcock, 64, of Axminster, said: “These changes do concern me as I’m not getting any younger.

“We should have been consulted about the management changes. I was unaware of it.

“You need someone in your own area to know what people want.”

Frank Wybrow, 79, of Honiton, said: “I wish the management change had been publicised a little more, so the public do know.

“It is the first I have heard of it.

“The public should know about it. It does worry me – people’s lives are at risk.

“It is absolutely rubbish. There needs to be more information to the public.”

Lesley Alldridge, 66, of Honiton, said: “To be honest, these things happen but the public should have been notified. They should have given us a chance to have our say.

“We should be able to voice our opinions and whether we wanted this to happen.

“It would have been nice to be consulted.

“Lots of things we should be asked about, whether we agree or not. It would be nice to be asked.”

Linda Jones, 41, of Honiton, said: “We should have been consulted. It is wrong the way they have gone about it.

“It would have been nice to have kept the management localised, but the future of the NHS always concerns me.”

Tony Jones, 46, added: “It is just about letting everyone know.

“We still wouldn’t have known about the management changes.”