Protestors’ action plan to fight hospital bed cuts

Rally to oppose CCG's proposal to cut Honiton Hospital's inpatient beds. Ref mhh 44-16TI 0603. Pictu

Rally to oppose CCG's proposal to cut Honiton Hospital's inpatient beds. Ref mhh 44-16TI 0603. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A steering group formed in Honiton to save the town’s inpatient beds from closure has outlined its action plan.

The six-member group consists of chair Gillian Pritchett, Steve Craddock, James Manson, Honiton town councillor Henry Brown, Carolyn Asher and Heather Penwarden, chair of Honiton Dementia Action Alliance.

The NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) is holding a public consultation over four options for the future of services in the region.

The preferred option would see Honiton left with no inpatient beds and the provision spread between Tiverton, Seaton and Exmouth. Honiton Hospital does not feature in any of the other three options.

The steering group is currently working towards three goals:

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? Encourage the CCG to revise the criteria for assessing the future of hospitals in Devon.

? Lobby for a review of why Honiton Hospital was excluded from the shortlisted options and push for Honiton Hospital to be reinstated as an option.

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? Raise public awareness and rally support to save community hospitals in the area.

Gillian Pritchett said: “To this effect, Steve [Craddock] has been contacting other groups fighting for other community hospitals with a view to organising mass rallies.

“I very much see us as a team all pulling together - coordinating efforts and playing to our respective strengths.

“By good fortune, we have the same views on how to move forward with our ‘mission’ and seem to work really well together.”

In the CCG’s consultation document - entitled Your Future Care - it is stated that Honiton did not appear in any of the shortlisted options because it ‘scored poorly on the travel time evaluation criteria’.

The CCG says the cuts are needed to help plug a £384million funding deficit by 2020/21. It argues there is a need for fewer inpatient beds in community hospitals and more care being delivered in people’s homes.

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