Health Scrutiny finally refers Teignmouth community hospital closure to Secretary of State, but some hardline Tories still opposed

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After voting down my proposal to refer Devon CCG’s proposals at the January Scrutiny meeting – in favour of seeking purely informal advice from the Independent Reconfiguration Panel which advises the Health Secretary on these issues – the Committee yesterday voted to refer, by 11 votes to 2.

The Panel had told them that informal advice would not be appropriate at this stage, and following overwhelmingly community pressure including the local MP, the Committee was left with little choice but to use its formal powers. Two hardline Tories, including Exmouth’s Richard Scott, nevertheless prevented the decision being unanimous.

In my contribution, I argued that these pre-pandemic proposals need to be reviewed in the light of the much greater health needs which we are now aware of.

In echoes of the Seaton and Honiton bed closures in 2017 – which Health Scrutiny refused to refer – campaigners emphasised that the community would be left without local intermediate care given the lack of even nursing homes in Teignmouth.

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