They moved the goalposts, but still couldn’t score: ‘The number of most urgent calls taken by the South Western ambulance service between May 2016 and March 2017 compared to the year before was reduced from 308,000 to 44,600. But the proportion of calls hitting the eight-minute target remained stagnant at 70 per cent.’ (The minimum acceptable is supposed to be 75 per cent.)
The NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) promised that Seaton Hospital beds would not be closed until its new ‘care at home’ scheme is in place. Yet at the Seaton Health Forum last week it was reported that occupancy, which is normally over 90 per cent, had fallen to two-thirds. And today a local resident has reported on Facebook:
“I had to take my dad to the hospital in Exeter for a procedure. This has all gone well and they were going to move him to a different ward to recuperate perhaps for ten days. I said it would be good if he could be moved to Seaton Hospital. I was told that staff had been told not to send people to Seaton. The look of disgust on the doctors face suggested that there was more to that sentence along the lines of ‘because they want to keep it empty so that it looks like it is not being used’.”
The resident concludes, ‘Do you ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?’ and I agree. It appears that CCG is now closing Seaton Hospital’s beds by stealth. This follows Devon County Council’s refusal to release the CCG’s response to Devon’s Health Scrutiny Committee’s 14 questions, until after the County election next week. It now appears that not only have the CCG used the elections to avoid accountability, but they have reneged on their promises about implementation.
I demand that the CCG ensure that Seaton Hospital is used normally until the new system is fully operational, and that any implementation process is transparent and subject to public scrutiny. If elected next Thursday, my first job will be to hold the CCG to account.
This news only increases the urgency of Seaton Town Council’s decision about judicial review, which it is due to make on Tuesday 2nd May.