Honiton Hospital to lose beds in healthcare shake-up

PUBLISHED: 11:00 30 July 2015 | UPDATED: 11:02 30 July 2015

Honiton Hospital. Picture by Terry Ife. Ref mhh 0072-03-07TI

Honiton Hospital. Picture by Terry Ife. Ref mhh 0072-03-07TI

Archant

The decision was taken at a meeting of the NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG) governing body earlier this month.

Honiton Hospital is set to lose two inpatient beds following a major shake-up of healthcare services across East Devon.

The reorganisation has seen some hospitals lose all of their facilities - including in Ottery St Mary and Axminster.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) governing body earlier this month.

Dr David Jenner, a GP and chairman of the Eastern Locality of the CCG, said: “This will improve the resilience of care at our community hospitals in the face of financial and workforce challenges.

“We are looking to continually improve services to support people in their local communities, whether they are cared for at home or in hospital, and this is one step forward on that journey.”

The decision to close two beds at Honiton has been labelled as ‘disappointing’ by Heather Penwarden, chairman of Honiton Hospital League of Friends.

Mrs Penwarden said: “We are a little bit disappointed, but it could have been a lot worse.

“We feel very sorry for Axminster and Ottery because we know if we were in their situation, it would be very different for us. We understand what it must be like for the other towns and we will support them in whatever action they take.

“For us, it’s business as usual.”

Mrs Penwarden added that despite losing the two beds, the group still feels it

has a service to push out to patients in

Honiton.

The beds decision will mean the number of community hospital inpatient units in

East Devon will be reduced from ten to

seven.

Dr Jenner added: “Over the last few years, the hospital provider Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has had to temporarily close some community hospital inpatient units due to staffing issues. Consolidating from 10 to seven units means we will have much more robust staffing at our hospitals in the future.”

The process in which the CCG developed the changes agreed will be considered by the Devon health and wellbeing scrutiny committee on Monday, September 14.

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