Is this really consultation? asks MP

Neil Parish is concerned NHS Devon will not have the money to provide 24-hour midwifery cover in the community.

IS this a real consultation?

That is what Honiton’s newly-elected MP, Neil Parish, asked health chiefs during a public meeting over the future shape of post-natal care in Honiton.

“Many points have been made today, but we rather fear that this is a fait accompli,” he told the consultation event, jointly chaired by Honiton Town Council and NHS Devon.

Mr Parish said he hoped the primary care trust was genuinely consulting, but added: “I am not convinced.”

He fears that, while proposals to allow midwives to work more in the community are laudable, money may run out.

He fears resources will get tighter, meaning the proposed service cannot be delivered.

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“We really do need to have a proper consultation,” he said. “It isn’t broke, but you are trying to fix it.

“Before you go down this route, look at it again.”

Mr Parish said a hard-headed look was needed, to ensure the proposed new service does not end up costing more.

“There is not an awful lot of logic to what you are trying to do,” he told the meeting.

More stories from the meeting are on this website. More in next week’s Midweek Herald - first with the news.