- You can watch the meeting at https://devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/293466.
What this means
- The 7 councillors who voted NOT to refer the decision were all Conservatives: Sara Randall Johnson (Broadclyst), Richard Scott (Exmouth), Rufus Gilbert, Sylvia Russell, Paul Crabb and Ron Peart. John Berry and Jeremy Yabsley (both also Conservative) abstained.
- The 6 councillors who voted against this motion, i.e. to refer the decision, were Claire Wright (Otter Valley, Independent), Brian Greenslade and Nick Way (Liberal Democrat), Hilary Ackland and Carol Whitton (Labour) and Phil Twiss (Honiton, Conservative).
The Acute Services Review, part of the Devon NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), proposes the closure of maternity units at Newton Abbot, Tiverton, Okehampton and Honiton – the last two hospitals of course designated, with Seaton, to lose inpatient beds too. Read a summary and Claire Wright’s comment.
My case for the Health Scrutiny Committee to refer the hospital beds decision to the Secretary of State
- Plans to halve the numbers of community beds do not take into account that the numbers of older people in Devon will more than double in the next two decades.
- East Devon needs more beds than other areas because it has the oldest population in Devon and this will continue to grow.
- Community beds are crucial to older patients without transport and when they are distant many relatives will have huge difficulty visiting their loved ones.
- Savings from the closures will be small. Both financial logic and CCG planning suggest that the real agenda is to close a number of hospitals.
- The CCG’s consultation was flawed because it gave no option to keep Honiton’s beds, and the CCG ignored the stronger support for Seaton from people who responded.
- The CCG’s reasons for choosing Sidmouth over Seaton are based on misleading use of evidence about population and age distributions (see table below, explained in letter).
- The concentration of beds in Tiverton, Sidmouth and Exmouth will leave the eastern margins of East Devon entirely without. The CCG’s claim that this is ‘a more even geographic spread’ is entirely false.
- The CCG ignored the fact that Seaton also serves the Axminster area, and has reneged on the commitment it gave when it recently closed Axminster Hospital’s beds, that beds would continue to be available in Seaton.
- Communities in the Seaton, Axminster and Honiton are angry about the decision and expect the Health Scrutiny Committee to refer it to the Secretary of State.
In an extraordinarily generous gesture, Otter Nurseries have told Save Hospital Services – Honiton that they will give £10,000 towards the costs of a Judicial Review of the NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s decision to close the in-patient beds in Honiton Hospital. What an example for local campaigners in Seaton! If a lot of local businesses and individuals give a fraction of this amount, we can raise the funds to overturn the Seaton closures, too.
This statement has been issued by the Save Our Hospital Services-Honiton group:
SOHS – Honiton Steering Group that we will be applying for a judicial review of the CCG decision regarding the beds in Honiton Hospital because it was based on a flawed consultation process. There may also be human rights issues. The steering group have created a crowdfunding page on Just Giving in order to raise £75,000 for the first tranche of funding as lawyers and barristers are very expensive. The steering group believe it’s really important to go for a judicial review as we may well be able to demonstrate that the decision was unlawful. If we can get people to give £10 each we can very soon raise the first round of funding. When you think about it £10 is four coffees or two glasses of wine so we are not asking people to make a massive sacrifice to support the judicial review.” For those who wish to donate the URL is www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/honitonhospitalbeds
The reason why we put “we are going for a judicial review” is because it is not just the steering group ..it is the town, the mayor, the league of friends, senior voice. They have all been consulted and are in favour of a judicial review.