Also at risk across East Devon, are all of Axminster Hospital beds, and minor injuries units at Ottery, Axminster, Sidmouth and Seaton Hospitals.

The CCG’s board papers, published yesterday, argue strongly in favour of closing Ottery Hospital’s beds and minor injuries unit and against any other option, including the recommendations presented by the stakeholder group – a group set up by the CCG in January.

The paper, in my view, has totally misrepresented the stakeholder group’s recommendation on hospital beds, by implying that the group supported “consolidation” as a long-term measure (moving hospital beds out of Ottery and Axminster to other hospitals).

The stakeholder group’s recommendation was that beds should remain at all our community hospitals and a minor injuries service should be retained in each town.

The paper that goes before the CCG’s governing body on Thursday states that the cuts will be implemented immediately once a decision has been made.

The paper acknowledges the significant projected population increase in East Devon over the next few years – over 11 per cent by 2026), but seems to believe that the best way of handling this is to move community hospital beds to other nearby hospitals.

The paper also admits that there is significant public opposition to the plans.

At the last health and wellbeing scrutiny committee meeting on 18 June, the CCG’s update report, scarcely mentioned the work of the stakeholder group, bar a passing reference. Certainly it did not allude to its recommendations, despite the group being established by the CCG in January!  You can view discussions at this meeting here. The speakers names are now included within the webcast – http://www.devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/159084 .

I have not been able to find any mention of the CCG’s plans for Ottery Hospital, if the beds and minor injuries unit closes, yet paperwork claims that the stakeholder recommendations will cost an additional £200K. And the savings from closing all the beds at Axminster and Ottery will be £500,000.

The existing 15 bed stroke unit housed at Ottery is set to move to a site in Exeter – probably the RD&E. Ottery is viewed as an interim measure.

One of the stakeholder group’s recommendations included that no changes should take place until integration with a new provider had taken place (a decision about who gets to run local community hospitals – likely to be the RD&E).

But the papers submitted for next Thursday’s meeting tacitly admit that providers have not even been consulted with.

The CCG makes a strong case for its own proposals and dismisses the alternatives.

To view the recommendations turn to page 110 of the papers, in this link –
file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Claire/My%20Documents/Downloads/GB%20Pack%20PUBLIC%2016%20July%202015.pdf

The meeting starts at 1pm on Thursday 16 July, at Newcourt Community Centre, Exeter.  It is open to the public, but please bear in mind that the relevant agenda item isn’t likely to start until after 3pm. 

It is absolutely vital that there is a big public attendance from across East Devon, as this is when the decisions are made.

There is no facility for public speaking unfortunately (I did ask twice but was refused). However, there is the option of submitting questions in advance, in writing.