East Devon hospital bed campaigners say it with flowers

The daffodil message. Picture: SUBMITTED

The daffodil message. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Daffodils in the shape of an H are coming up all over the region

Hosts of golden daffodils have been planted in East Devon towns to protest against the loss of hospital beds – and residents can win £50 worth of fruit trees if they spot them.

The daffodils were planted by Tiverton and Honiton Labour Party members angry at the closure of the 72 beds in hospitals in Honiton, Axminster and Seaton.

The green-fingered protestors planted the bulbs in the three towns last autumn as the beds were being closed. They’ve been planted in the shape of a hospital bed or a giant H, so should be easy to spot.

Despite numerous protests, letters to local MP Neil Parish and demonstrations across the county, 72 beds were closed last year, and more than 600 beds in South Devon are now under threat of closure thanks to the NHS funding crisis.

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Local Labour Party member Adam Powell said: “In Honiton, Axminster and Seaton – the towns where hospital beds have been lost – daffodils have been planted in visible locations in the shape of a big bed or an elongated H. We want you to look out for these daffodil beds – they’re not difficult to find. They won’t just come up this year but for many years to come and will remind us of the facilities we have paid for through our taxes but have now lost.”

Explaining the reasoning behind the hospital bed closures Dr Tim Burke, chairman of NHS NEW Devon CCG, has said: “Too many people are in hospitals when they don’t need to be there.

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“There is a growing body of evidence that the solution lies in developing community services outside hospital, which in turn reduces the numbers of people unnecessarily admitted to hospital. We need to be focussing more resources on providing better care for people away from hospitals.”

** If you spot the daffodils, email honitonlabourforchange@gmail.com with your name and a photo of the flowers to be entered into a prize draw to win £50 worth of fruit trees ready for spring planting, delivered direct to your door. There are three prizes to be won.

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