Campaign to safeguard Axe Valley healthcare provision

PUBLISHED: 12:51 10 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:32 12 December 2018

Steve Holt. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Steve Holt. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

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Axminster and Seaton work together to ensure patient needs are met

Axminster and Seaton have joined forces to safeguard healthcare provision for their residents.

The two communities are working together to ensure that the medical facilities and services provided are ‘appropriate’ across the whole of the Axe Valley, in the wake of hospital bed closures.

Steve Holt, treasurer of Axminster Hospital League of Friends explained: “The NHS wants to give people more say in how health care is delivered within each local community. It therefore needs to understand local priorities before making changes to service delivery.

“Axminster and other towns in East Devon have been invited to be part of this ‘Place Based System of Care’ initiative.”

Mr Holt said that a group comprising representatives from the district and county councils, Axminster Medical Practice GPs and its Patient Participation Group, along with Axminster Hospital League of Friends, and Light Up Axminster has been investigating the best methods to assess the health needs of the local community and its surrounding areas.

He continued: “It felt that a big community gathering could engage people in letting them know that the issues were being discussed but that in order to get to the real needs, a different approach was required.

“The first stage was to survey people with relevant questions relating to their own experiences to create a base of factual data from which key areas could be further explored. This has been completed across a representative segment of the Axminster Medical Practice population and has given a clear steer as to where to focus the questions for the next phase. “Phase Two will be carried out in the waiting room of the surgery where patients will be asked to answer questions to help the group to expand on the needs analysis to augment the data already compiled.

“They accept that this does not encompass all and as such will also be approaching more localised communities to ensure that the data represents the complete spectrum of the population as closely as possible.”

Whilst this group is focusing on Axminster, it is working closely with the Seaton group “Seaton Area Health Matters” sharing ideas, information and plans ensuring that all opportunities are considered, creating a common approach to place based healthcare across the Axe Valley.

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