• East Devon hospitals future remains uncertain as consultation document delayed

    17th August 2014 | News | Claire
  • Cllr Roger Giles said he was concerned because at the last overview and scrutiny committee meeting NHS staff had said that a consultation document with information about plans for East Devon’s community hospitals would be released by the end of July or beginning of August.

    We are now halfway through August and still there is no sign of the document.

    There is expected to be proposals for widespread bed closures across the district.

    I asked chairman, Cllr Tim Wood, that the consultation document comes before the next overview and scrutiny committee meeting in September, but Cllr Jill Elson revealed that she had arranged with EDDC leader, Cllr Paul Diviani, for NHS staff to give a presentation to the entire council – 59 councillors – instead of the document being examined by the overview and scrutiny committee.

    I wonder how a meeting of 59 councillors can achieve anything like approaching scrutiny of one of the most important pieces of information to ever be released by the local NHS? 

    At a time like this it is vital that we have well informed and effective scrutiny – many questions will need to be asked.

    A meeting of 59 councillors runs the risk of becoming little more than a collection of political mini-speeches.

    I have written to the chair and vice-chair of EDDC’s overview and scrutiny committee – Cllrs Tim Wood and Graham Troman – asking them to bring the matter before the September overview and scrutiny committee, in addition to any full council meeting.

    Devon County Council’s health and wellbeing scrutiny committee (of which I am a member) is set to consider the plans at its meeting on Thursday 18 September, starting at 2pm.

    Here’s the report from June’s overview and scrutiny committee meeting – http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/closure_of_in_patient_beds_possible_at_three_east_devon_community_hospitals

    Photograph:  Ottery St Mary Hospital.