There will be more beds instead at other East Devon hospitals.

Exmouth Hospital will lose six beds, which means that the original claims that there will be no overall bed losses in East Devon as a whole, no longer stands. 

The CCG say the changes will be implemented immediately.

Around 20 people gathered to protest at the plans with placards, before the meeting.

And that this is the first step in their strategy, implying that there will be more bed losses to come.

Over 11,000 people signed petitions against the loss of local hospital services. And more than 1000 wrote directly to the CCG imploring it to scrap its plans.

Responding to a question from a colleague at today’s meeting Dr David Jenner confirmed that the reason more beds weren’t closed was due to patient concern and a “tricky winter time” and a need to have confidence that home-based care was working before moving onto the next step.

The 15 stroke beds will remain in Ottery Hospital for about another year before being moved to Exeter.

The population of East Devon is set to grow significantly in the coming years.

A written question of mine to CCG chair, Dr Tim Burke, about the costs of setting up a health hub at Ottery and Axminster Hospitals was not answered this afternoon, as these details would be worked through, the governing body was informed.

The CCG is in a dire financial position, in debt by tens of millions of pounds.

They say that they will use £500,000 savings to fund more home-based care and health hubs at Ottery and Axminster, however, these plans are not costed and I don’t believe for one minute that the CCG will be saving money by doing this.

In my view what is happening is part of an ideological direction of travel from central government.

Below is the way that the CCG see things…….

NEW DEVON’S CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP PRESS RELEASE ……
Doctors agree to improve resilience of Eastern Devon’s community hospitals

Doctors have today agreed to consolidate overnight inpatient beds at Eastern Devon’s community hospitals to secure nursing care close to people’s homes.

Community hospital beds in Eastern Devon will be consolidated as a platform for further review and reform of community services, aiming to treat more people in their own home where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

The decision was taken at NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (NEW Devon CCG) Governing Body meeting today.

It will mean the number of community hospital inpatient units in Eastern Devon will reduce from 10 to seven. Community hospitals at Axminster, Crediton and Ottery St Mary will no longer have overnight inpatient beds, although Ottery St Mary Hospital will have 15 overnight stroke rehabilitation beds for now.

None of the community hospitals will close as a result of the decision. Health and social care hubs with a range of outpatient services, day surgery and other health and social care services will be developed at hospitals without inpatient beds.

Dr David Jenner, a GP from Cullompton and chair of the Eastern Locality of NHS NEW Devon CCG, said:  “This will improve the resilience of care at our community hospitals in the face of financial and workforce challenges.

“We are looking to continually improve services to support people in their local communities whether they are cared for at home or in hospital and this is one step forward on that journey.

“We want to thank all the local people and organisations who have been involved throughout the development of the plans over the last couple of years. We held over 30 public meetings or drop-in sessions and have taken their comments into consideration when making our decision today.

“Of course we understand that some people will always want to have community beds in their own area and this decision may disappoint them but making sure everyone has the same level of access to services is very important.

“Over the last few years the hospital provider Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has had to temporarily close some community hospital inpatient units due to staffing issues. Consolidating from 10 to seven units means we will have much more robust staffing at our hospitals in the future.”

The process in which we developed the changes agreed today will now be considered at the Devon Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee meeting on 14 September 2015.

The timeline for implementing the changes will depend on the outcomes and feedback from this Scrutiny meeting.

A summary of the changes agreed today is below:
Hospital Beds pre-decision Beds post-decision Comments
Exeter Community Hospital 20 medical 20 medical No change
Exmouth 22 medical + 8 stroke 16 medical 8 stroke beds to Ottery St Mary Hospital
Crediton 3 medical + 7 stroke None 7 stroke beds to Ottery St Mary Hospital. Hub also under development
Okehampton 16 medical 16 medical No change
Tiverton 32 medical 32 medical No change
Axminster 10 medical None
Seaton 10 medical 24 medical
Sidmouth 18 medical 24 medical
Honiton 18 medical 16 medical
Ottery St Mary 10 medical + 0 stroke 0 Medical + 15 stroke
Moretonhampstead 0 medical 0 medical Hub under development
Budleigh Salterton 0 medical 0 medical Hub under development

Pic:  Protesting outside yesterday’s meeting.