Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Exmouth’s 12-bed stroke rehabilitation unit is set to move to a new specialist Exeter hub – possibly as soon as this autumn.
Any move would free up a dozen beds at Exmouth Hospital, possibly for the town’s flu-hit pensioners this winter.
Town councillors were briefed on Monday by Budleigh GP Dr Richard Mejzner, who is vice-chairman of the Woodbury, Exmouth and Budleigh (WEB) clinical commissioning group.
He is also charged with ensuring that everyone in East Devon gets the same quality of care.
Every year around 700 people in Exeter, East Devon and Mid Devon suffer a stroke, and all get treated at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital.
Recovering patients from the WEB area then get rehab in Exmouth Hospital before going on the early supported discharge programme.
This enables them to go home, where patients recover more quickly.
Dr Majzner said: “Currently the only people getting early supported discharge are in the Exeter and WEB area. As clinical commissioners, we are worried that a lot of people [in Axminster, Seaton and Honiton] do not get access to this.”
Moving the Exmouth and Crediton Community stroke units to a single hub would ensure that all specialist clinicians, speech therapists and physiotherapists were in one easy-to-get-to centre.
Dr Mejzner added: “Most of our Exmouth patients come from Exeter, Axminster, Seaton, Honiton. It would be easier for it to be in Exeter.
“The commissioning group is committed, if the stroke beds move, to increase the number of medical beds in Exmouth.
“Ideally we would like to do it before the winter pressures hit us, and make that change because we really want the community beds in Exmouth for our medical patients.
“If it’s not done by the autumn, we will look again.”