Exmouth healthcare to be provided by Barnstaple

PUBLISHED: 11:16 11 November 2010

NHS services in Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton from next year will be provided by a Barnstaple-based health trust which just four years ago faced financial meltdown.

NHS services in Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton from next year will be provided by a Barnstaple-based health trust which just four years ago faced financial meltdown.

By April 1 2011 NHS services previously administered by Devon Primary Care Trust will be placed into the hands Northern Devon Healthcare Trust (NDHT) for at least two years.

The move, rubberstamped last month, is a stop-gap measure, part of the Coalition Government’s Transforming Community Services (TCS) agenda to dissolve Devon PCT and devolve the provision of care into the hands of local GPs.

The transfer does not include infrastructure like Exmouth or Budleigh Salterton Community Hospitals, which have been largely paid for by community fundraising, donations and legacies.

The TCS aims to ‘strengthen’ community services, bringing healthcare closer to people’s homes say ministers, and is part of the process to ensure their safe transfer to a GP consortium.

In 2005/2006 NDHT, who are taking over the reins was beset by problems, despite record levels of health spending.

There was a litany of forgotten waiting lists, £1 million monthly overspends and was deemed to have the worst self-assessment of any NHS trust in England.

At one point the trust employed 283 people without even costing how it would pay their wages leading to it being ranked as ‘weak’ by a health watchdog in 2007.

But by 2008 the NHS’ annual ‘health check’ showed that the trust had turned around its fortunes, scoring ‘good’ for its provision of care and now it is a well performing Trust.

Sally Slade, managing director of Devon Provider Services, said: “We are very pleased that Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust is to host our eastern community services for an interim period, while longer term solutions are examined.

“It is a well-performing trust and, importantly, has the confidence of our GPs.

“Community hospitals and other assets are not included in the transfer. We look forward to this two year period as a time to further improve our integrated health and social care community services and make them really responsive to the needs of our local communities. The people of eastern Devon can be confident about their future health care and services.”

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