December 13 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Health bosses have hired an architect to assess if a converted Budleigh hospital could house the first community health hub in the country.
If built, the hub could be run with Age Concern at its heart.
Councillors, healthcare professionals, GPs and charities all back using the hospital as a 21st century ‘patient centred’ community well-being and health hub.
Now efforts to determine if the buildings are suitable are being made.
It follows interim deputy locality director for NHS Eastern, Tamara Powderly, previously discussing costings and the eventual shape, size and range of services which could be on offer.
The latest meeting of the eastern locality of the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group was held in Lympstone last week.
Dr Tom Debenham, the chairman of the Woodbury, Exmouth and Budleigh arm of the group, gave an update on the proposals.
He said: “The work looking at how we better utilise Budleigh hospital in the future is progressing well.
“The Northern Devon Health Care Trust has commissioned an architect to explore the possibilities of the building, looking at a simple clinical model with Age Concern as a base for evolving into a more socially led model in the future.
“The project group has agreed to spend more time learning from best practice and visiting other sites such as Westbank and Hospiscare.”
The hospital has one of the best stroke units in the country but there are concerns that the hospital catered exclusively for the elderly and that care, clinical services and support were provided separately.
The hope is that all three services could be housed by the private, public and voluntary sectors under one roof.
An NHS spokesperson said: “Budleigh Salterton has an increasing elderly population. There is a requirement to develop an infrastructure to meet their needs.
“Over the next 12 months commissioners, in collaboration with the healthcare community, are undertaking a process of transforming community services across East Devon.”
The spokesman added that if the hub was realised it would provide a ‘pleasant experience’ for users while meeting the needs of a ‘multi-generational community’.