Seaton council halts bed cuts legal challenge

PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 May 2017

Seaton Hospital. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Seaton Hospital. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

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Seaton Town Council has abandoned plans to seek a judicial review over the closure of its local NHS hospital beds, saying it would be too expensive.

At a recent meeting, members heard that the potential cost of such a legal challenge to the NEW CCG’s decision would be at least £100,000.

“Neither Seaton Town Council nor Seaton Hospital League of Friends are in a financial position to underwrite this cost pending public donations,” said a council spokesman.

“Both parties, having considered the advice given, felt the case for judicial review was not as strong as they hoped it would be.

“However, the council and the Seaton Hospital League of Friends will continue to do everything that they can including lobbying the Devon County Council health and wellbeing scrutiny committee, the local MP and the Secretary of State over the matter.”

Seaton mayor Cllr Marcus Hartnell said: “Whilst the council is not in a position to proceed to judicial review, this is not the end of the matter. We will work with our colleagues at the League of Friends to continue to fight this decision.”

* Explaining the reasons for the bed cuts, Dr Tim Burke, chairman of NEW Devon CCG, has said: “We know we can do more to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and support a faster return home for our patients. Too many people are in hospitals when they don’t need to be there. Every day, up to 600 people are in hospitals (100 of these in community hospitals) who no longer have a medical need to be there.

“There is a growing body of evidence that the solution lies in developing community services outside hospital, which in turn reduces the numbers of people unnecessarily admitted to hospital. We need to be focusing more resources on providing better care for people away from hospitals.”

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