• An extension to the consultation to remove beds and minor injuries unit at Ottery Hospital?

    27th November 2014 | News | Claire
  • CCG manager, Tamara Powderley also was not able to confirm when the NHS would make its decision.

    Devon County Council health scrutiny committee members were informed that the decision on future of community hospitals in East Devon would take place on 6 January, after which it would be reviewed by the scrutiny committee.

    But last night Ms Powderley said she could not confirm when a decision would be made.

    Almost 100 people packed the Institute once again. And once again, local GPs and NHS managers were met with hostility and anger about the plans. There was quite a furore over difficulty in getting an answer about what would happen to the hospital building if the beds and MIU were closed.

    There was a slightly absurd moment of light relief when nature lovers in the audience (including me) were delighted to spot a beautiful red admiral butterfly alight on Dr Mike Slot’s trousers, who at the time was addressing everyone.

    At the beginning of the meeting Dr Simon Kerr said that there would be no “hospital at home scheme” in the Ottery area.

    We were also informed that there were no plans for future bed losses in the Eastern locality. 

    Later when I queried why we wouldn’t have a hospital at home scheme here in Ottery, I was informed that it was because there would not be a loss of beds across East Devon and the hospital at home scheme was a very specific scheme led by a hospital consultant.

    I asked whether there would be staff visiting patients in their own homes instead. The answer was no.

    I suggested that the consultation document stated that bed losses was the longer-term plan. However, Tamara Powderley replied that this was only after NHS managers were confident that there was enough staff to look after patients in their own homes.

    This was a bit confusing because either the consultation document is correct… or it isn’t. 

    The consultation document states that there will be long-term “significant” bed losses and refers all the way through to treating patients in their own homes.

    So, are there going to be long-term “significant” bed losses and staff visiting patients in their own homes… or aren’t there?

    I suspect that with the current appalling financial position, caused by considerable historical and recent government under-funding, will mean that there WILL be longer-term significant bed losses …. as the consultation document states.

    This is why we must assume that if Ottery Hospital falls, it will be the first of many bed losses in East Devon – at a time of great demand and housing growth. 

    We must not let Ottery Hospital fall.