Yearly Archives: 2016

/2016

Save our NHS Devon rally attracts hundreds of protesters from across the county

By |2016-12-03T18:44:00+00:00December 3rd, 2016|News|

An excellent event this morning with hundreds of angry people waving placards and a series of engaging speeches from protesters all over Devon, including from East Devon’s Cathy Gardner and Di Fuller.

It was a wonderful atmosphere of campaigning solidarity.  Almost everyone wore red to demonstrate that there are “no red lines” = no health service cuts are acceptable.

A new movement has begun… MPs had better sit up and listen because the NHS in Devon (and in many other places across the country) has just become a massive issue for the next general election….

Congratulations to the organisers - Save our Hospital Services - for doing a great job!

NB. Sidmouth stalwart campaigner, Robert Crick deserves a special mention for his completely hilarious interventions between speeches. Not sure why he was carrying around a furry red baby dragon…. but then that’s Robert!

Here’s my slightly shouty speech…  https://www.facebook.com/clairewrightindependent/

More coverage here - http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/…/story-29…/story.html

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Local NHS rep to attend Ottery Town Council on Mon to explain more bed cut plans

By |2016-12-01T19:13:00+00:00December 1st, 2016|News|

A representative from Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group will be at Ottery Town Council on Monday (5 December) evening to explain the latest plans to cut the remaining half of community hospital beds in Eastern Devon and to give an update about what will happen to Ottery Hospital once the 15 stroke beds transfer to the RD&E.

The presentation starts at 7pm.  The town council meeting is held at the Old Convent.

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Exeter rally - Save Our NHS - Saturday noon, Bedford Square

By |2016-12-01T12:57:00+00:00December 1st, 2016|News|

I hope the turnout will be massive for this on Saturday!

I will be speaking, as will others including EDDC Sidmouth councillor, Cathy Gardner and patient and public involvement chair, Di Fuller….

We need to give a strong message to Devon representatives and MPs that we will not put up with cuts to beds or services to OUR NHS.

People from East Devon will gather at 11.40am near the bus station, outside the Civic Centre in Paris Street, Exeter.

The rally, which is expected to be attended by people from all over the county, will take place from noon in Bedford Square, Princesshay.

Wear red and bring a placard!

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EDDC scrutiny committee recommends litany of concerns to bed cuts consultation

By |2016-12-01T12:20:00+00:00December 1st, 2016|News|

EDDC’s scrutiny committee has recommended to the full council that it expresses concerns on a number of grounds to the very controversial hospital cuts consultation across Eastern Devon.

Below is a press release with the detail….

Well done to scrutiny chair, Cllr Roger Giles and all councillors who contributed to the meeting.

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Devon County Council approves Straitgate Farm for inclusion in quarrying strategy

By |2016-12-01T12:12:00+00:00December 1st, 2016|News|

In a not very surprising development, Devon County Council’s planning committee last week approved Straitgate Farm on the edge of Ottery St Mary for inclusion in the authority’s minerals plan for sand and gravel quarrying.

A planning inspector overruled some significant concerns and objections from Devon County Council’s highways department, Natural England and the Environment Agency - read more here - https://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/planning_inspector_endorses_straitgate_farm_for_quarrying_in_minerals_plan

I was unable to attend the meeting but my statement was was read out - below:

For more information about the controversial proposals, see http://straitgateactiongroup.blogspot.co.uk/

Aggregate Industries is now preparing a planning application, following a public exhibition last week.  It is very important that if people are concerned about the plans, that they respond to the planning application.  More on this very soon….

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Hugo Swire asks for more funding for social care after all!

By |2016-11-29T09:19:00+00:00November 29th, 2016|News|

East Devon’s MP has joined a rebellion demanding more funding for social care.

Mr Swire didn’t admit that he was planning to join a rebellion on this in his letter to me .....but I did ask him to ask for more money for health AND social care, as Devon’s budget is around £5m in the red.

It’s excellent news that Mr Swire is starting to oppose more unacceptable government policy. There are few government policies more contemptible than starving the NHS of money and plunging the most vulnerable people in society into difficulties, potentially leaving them without adequate personal care.  There are too few carers who are paid very little. This is a big part of the problem.

Otherwise the deficit is largely down to rapidly rising demand - more older people with complex health and social care needs - and massive cuts to council budgets.

Here’s the article - https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/nov/29/tory-mps-press-philip-hammond-over-nhs-and-social-care

And here’s my email to Mr Swire, sent earlier this month - https://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/hugo_swire_please_back_sarah_wollaston_and_urge_chancellor_for_more_nhs_and

Here’s Mr Swire’s reply to me, received last week - https://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/hugo_swire_disagrees_with_colleague_dr_sarah_wollaston_over_nhs_funding

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Hugo Swire disagrees with colleague, Dr Sarah Wollaston over NHS funding

By |2016-11-23T22:14:00+00:00November 23rd, 2016|News|

This is Hugo Swire’s letter in reply to my email asking him to back Sarah Wollaston on the NHS, which I received this morning.  It was welcome to receive a letter that obviously reflects his own thoughts and not simply a minister’s standard reply, which is what I asked for.

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East Devon MP ignores my query on backing his colleague over NHS

By |2016-11-22T18:34:00+00:00November 22nd, 2016|News|

I am disappointed that MP, Hugo Swire has opted to ignore my email to him, urging him to back his Conservative colleague, Sarah Wollaston.

I sent the message to Mr Swire on 3 November (link below), asking him to urge chancellor, Philip Hammond for more health and social care funding in tomorrow’s autumn statement.

Dr Wollaston, chair of the health select committee has asked the chancellor for more money when it became clear that the £10bn pledged by the government to be ploughed into the NHS, was actually not £10bn at all. It was more like £4bn.

It was a serious request and one that is very relevant to Mr Swire’s constituency, where a number of local hospitals are at risk of losing all their beds in the current consultation - Your Future Care.

The Local Government Association is also calling for more funding for social care as agencies struggle to recruit and retain carers and struggle with the implications of huge underfunding. 

There is a £5m hole in Devon’s adult social care budget.

Health and social services are completely interlinked and if the community hospital beds are cut, social care will have to take up more work to help keep people in their own homes.

I would have thought that Mr Swire would have had the time and the manners to respond to a query that was made about three weeks ago, on an event that takes place tomorrow.

I can only assume that this means that as usual he has not had the courage to break with the party line and that he did not wish to admit it.

What a pity.

The link to my email is below ..... https://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/hugo_swire_please_back_sarah_wollaston_and_urge_chancellor_for_more_nhs_and

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Public meeting in Ottery St Mary to debate plans to shut more community hospital beds

By |2016-11-18T12:30:00+00:00November 18th, 2016|News|

There will be a public meeting at the King’s School in Ottery St Mary on Tuesday 29 November, to consult residents on plans to shut 72 community hospital beds in Eastern Devon - and on introducing a new model of care on looking after more people in their own homes.

Last year NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group made a decision to shut all the general medical beds at Ottery Hospital as well as Crediton and Axminster. We now have 15 temporary stroke beds at Ottery but they are set to transfer to the RD&E in due course.

The CCG was not planning to hold a meeting in Ottery but myself, Cllr Elli Pang and Ottery Town Council all wrote requesting that a meeting be held in the town to update people on the new model of caring for people in their own homes and what plans there are for the hospital.

The meeting at the King’s School is from 6-8pm on Wednesday 29 November.

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EDDC scrutiny committee to examine hospital bed closures plan

By |2016-11-18T12:14:00+00:00November 18th, 2016|News|

East Devon District Council’s scrutiny committee will examine plans to close half the remaining community hospital beds in Eastern Devon.

Beds are at risk at Sidmouth, Seaton and Honiton (which is unfairly excluded from the consultation completely).

Also on the agenda is NHS Property Services, the controversial new private company wholly owned by the secretary of state for health.

NHS PS now owns 12 community hospitals in Eastern Devon, including Ottery St Mary.  It will charge commercial rents from next year, despite the buildings previously being owned by the local NHS and being significantly funded to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds, by local residents.

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Aggregate Industries hold new exhibition on quarry plans at Ottery next Wednesday

By |2016-11-18T11:24:00+00:00November 18th, 2016|News|

Aggregate Industries will hold yet another public exhibition on its controversial plans to quarry at Straitgate Farm, on the edge of Ottery St Mary.

The company will display its proposals next Wednesday (23 November) between 2 and 8pm at the Institute in Yonder Street on a quarry that would take up around 100 acres of greenfield countryside.

Around two miles of hedgerow is proposed to be ripped out.

The exhibition will take place as Devon County Council’s development management committee meets to decide on the Devon minerals plan - and the fate of Straitgate Farm in the overall quarry strategy for Devon.

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