• Devon Health Scrutiny Cttee members need an urgent meeting and regular briefings

    6th April 2020 | News | Claire
  • Email to Sara Randall Johnson, chair of Devon County Council’s Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee, this morning…

    Hi Sara I hope you are keeping well in these difficult times.

    Like me and many other councillors, you are probably getting a lot of questions at the moment relating to how local hospitals are preparing for and managing coronavirus patients.

    I have received particular questions relating to critical care beds or ITU care bed availability at the RD&E and what contingency plans are being made on a wider need for beds. I see that there are plans for a temporary hospital at Westpoint and possibly at other hotels too…

    And what is happening with our community hospitals?

    I also note that new care workers are being recruited which is good news.

    As a health scrutiny member I feel it is really important that we have a handle on what is happening, what plans are being made and how local hospitals are managing to discharge patients in a timely way, in this hugely difficult time, given the usual huge challenges in non virus times.

    People are very worried that hospitals may not be able to cope with the numbers of patients that they may need to, that staff may not be properly protected (I have received complaints from healthworkers they don’t have adequate PPE eg) and I really feel that there is a role for this committee to take a lead on giving open clear regular communications and hopefully reassurance if possible, on the latest situation and the latest plans to manage the infection.

    I hope we can set up some kind of regular briefing on this so we all feel informed and have some way of letting people know what is happening.

    Finally, we are of course, unable to meet at present and I see that democratic services are setting up an online alternative to committee meetings. Can I assume that the Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee will be reconvened urgently as soon as the technology is available?

    It feels like a very long time ago since our last meeting in March and the only advice was to keep washing your hands!

    Thank you very much

    Claire Wright
    Devon County Councillor – Otter Valley Ward