Honiton Town Council ‘concerned’ over beds saga

Protesters have opposed the cut in inpatient beds. Ref mhh 44-16TI 0603. Picture: Terry Ife

Protesters have opposed the cut in inpatient beds. Ref mhh 44-16TI 0603. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Honiton Town Council has registered its ‘extreme concern’ over the NHS NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) proposal to close 71 hospital beds in East Devon.

In a statement made by Honiton Town Council, the authority branded the decision as ‘ill-thought out’ and urged East Devon MPs Neil Parish and Sir Hugo Swire to try and persuade the CCG to reconsider.

The CCG is currently consulting on four options for the future of services in the region. They are:

A) 32 beds in Tiverton, 24 beds in Seaton and 16 beds in Exmouth;

B) 32 beds in Tiverton, 24 beds in Sidmouth and 16 beds in Exmouth;

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C) 32 beds in Tiverton, 24 beds in Seaton and 16 beds in Whipton;.

D) 32 beds in Tiverton, 24 in Sidmouth and 16 beds in Whipton;

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The cuts are intended to help plug a £384million deficit by 2020/21.

In its statement, the town council said: “It is a well-known fact that there is an above average population of elderly people in East Devon.

“Older people take longer to recuperate from illness, hospital admission and operations.

“Community services are already overstretched and there is an acute lack of appropriate carers to care for people in their own homes.

“At a time when large hospitals are experiencing delays in discharging patients, due to bed-blocking, our local hospitals are a huge resource in helping patients return to their home location.

“This is because local hospitals are closer to the network of family support and, therefore, are likely to reduce the amount of bed-blocking which may occur.

“There is also evidence that the more family support available, the faster the recovery of patients to return home.”

In a statement, a Honiton steering group opposing the cuts said it was ‘pleased that the council had issued a statement underlining the importance of community hospitals, which not only alleviate bed blocking in acute hospitals but also aid patient recovery since they have the support of nearby family and friends’.

The group added that it was also pleased that Devon county councillors put political views to one side and voted unanimously to stand against NHS cuts, demand more funding from the Government and request that the Success Regime be suspended while issues relating to the independence of its chair are investigated.

Gillian Pritchett, the group’s chair, added: “We feel that momentum is gathering and the light of hope that we will win grows each day.”

The group has written to Meg Hillier, chair of the public accounts committee, formally requesting that the CCG consultation process be suspended and none of the CCG proposals be implemented anywhere in Devon until the National Audit Office has conducted a full review of the methodology, assumptions and data that was used to come up with their proposals and decisions.

The group is urging residents to attend a CCG consultation meeting at Mackarness Hall, in Honiton next Wednesday (December 21), at 6pm.

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