Budleigh Salterton Hospital deal 'of immense importance'

PUBLISHED: 12:30 23 December 2016

Budleigh Hospital

Budleigh Hospital

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The pending arrival of a health and wellbeing hub at Budleigh Salterton Hospital has been hailed as an important development for the community.

It was revealed earlier this month that an agreement had been reached to deliver the hub, with renovation work at the hospital, which has been closed for two years, due to start in January. The hub is due to open in April.

At a celebration and information meeting held to mark the deal by the Budleigh Salterton Hospital League of Friends, group chairman Dr David Evans said: “The successful outcome of long, drawn-out negotiations is of immense importance. The driving force to the league of friends has been the comfort and safety of our communities and the need for easily accessed local community services.

“It cannot be stressed too strongly, however, that it is only due to the patience, support and understanding of the local community that this project became a reality.”

Dr Evans said with work set to start, the league of friends would be making a donation of £200,000 towards the project.

The hub will be managed by health charity Westbank, which will run most of its services, with selected clinical services commissioned by the NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and provided by the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Foundation Trust.

Westbank CEO Mary Nesbitt told the meeting the charity looked forward to working with the hospital trust, and also said it would potentially look at commercial renting of some of the rooms at the hub.

In response to a question from mayor Chris Kitson, Dr Richard Mejzner, a Budleigh GP and chairman of the Woodbury, Exmouth and Budleigh Locality CCG, said that the hub would go ahead regardless of the result of the current Your Future Care consultation on the possible loss of hospital beds in East Devon.

Hub manager Rob Jones said that community events would be held after Christmas, updating residents on the progress of the renovation work and also seeking ideas about what services people would like to see.

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