• Well over 100 people packed the Mackarness Hall last night, to show their opposition to bed cuts

    13th October 2016 | News | Claire
  • I was invited to address Honiton residents, as a member of Devon County Council’s health and wellbeing scrutiny committee and having fought the threat to Ottery Hospital, albeit it appears as though our efforts were in vain, sadly.

    The other two speakers were EDDC councillor, Mike Allen and Henry Brown from Honiton Town Council – both of whom spoke strongly against the proposed cuts.

    Honiton Hospital staff were present and clearly very opposed to the plans. One member of staff described the plans as unsafe. She was particularly concerned about the lack of funding to smooth the change, meaning that there would be a bumpy time after the beds are lost and before the new system is up and running.

    Many residents expressed their anger and bafflement about why Honiton was not even included in the options.

    The first thing that residents need to do is to get Honiton back on the list for consideration.

    I advised them to challenge this using a government response to the referral to the secretary of state for health, of Torrington Hospital’s bed cuts.

    The Independent Review Panel, which considered Devon County Council’s health scrutiny referral of the decision to shut Torrington Hospital’s beds, has stated the following:

    1. Ensure that local people can influence the outcome
    2. It is necessary to be up-front about the realities and trade-offs of service change
    3. A key lesson from Torrington is to be clear and specific about which patients will likely continue to need inpatient care and how their needs will be met in the future

    The Community Hospital Association’s Helen Tucker, who was involved with the fight to save Torrington’s beds, analysed report, which can be viewed here – http://www.communityhospitalsresearch.org.uk/blog.html

    I told the meeting that according to the Health Service Journal, Devon’s Success Regime was costing the taxpayer £7.4m between 2015 and 2017

    A young woman aged 17 gave an excellent speech about the importance of involving young people and offered to be a member of the campaign team and talk to her friends at Exeter College about the plans.

    MP, Neil Parish, had submitted a statement saying he was opposed to the cuts. He has offered to meet residents … in Tiverton.

    The meeting resolved to set up a campaign group to fight the plans.  I wish them lots of luck.

    Pic:  Honiton residents pack out the Mackarness Hall. Reproduced with permission of the Pulman’s View.