Date set for return of Axminster Hospital beds
PUBLISHED: 09:33 25 June 2015 | UPDATED: 09:33 25 June 2015
Inpatient services to be resumed on July 29
Sixteen inpatient beds will be returned to Axminster Hospital before the end of July.
“Hallelujah” was how Mayor Douglas Hull greeted news that a date for their return – July 29 - has now been officially set.
“Thank God,” he told the Herald. “To have a fully functioning hospital once more is really great news and must be a huge relief for relatives of patients who will now not have to travel so far to see them.”
The campaign to reopen the hospital’s inpatient services has been led by Axminster League of Friends and the Axminster Hospital Action Group (AHAG) in a joint operation with the Northern Devon NHS Healthcare Trust (NDHT).
The beds were transferred to Seaton Hospital in the winter because of staff shortages, but, after a successful recruitment drive, nurses will begin training on the wards on Monday, July 27, before the first patients are admitted two days later.
A spokesman for AHAG told the Herald: “It has been a hard-fought campaign which has resulted in this success and a great deal of joint working and recruitment with NDHT
“This would not have been possible without massive support from the community, who have wholeheartedly supported the League of Friends and the action group and no doubt will continue do so.
“We are very grateful too, for the existing staff who have continued to work in uncertain times, those who are returning after working in other local hospitals and we extend a very warm welcome to all the new members of staff. The local community will always give their support and help in any way they can.”
It is hoped to have an open day on Saturday, July 25, when the community can see what Axminster’s ‘fantastic’ hospital has to offer in terms of facilities.
There will be an opportunity to see a large part of the building, including the Conybere unit, which is also having an open and fundraising afternoon on the same day. Confirmation of this and further details will be published at a later date.