Hospital beds cuts: fears for Exmouth?

PUBLISHED: 06:30 19 September 2016

Exmouth Hospital

Exmouth Hospital

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Exmouth Hospital could lose beds as part of proposed NHS cuts, the Journal understands.

Leaked proposals from the NHS say that across Devon around 590 beds could be lost between now and the year 2020/21.

The Journal understands from a reliable source that Exmouth Hospital - which has 18 beds - could be in the firing line.

NHS bosses this week refused to confirm or deny this when approached by the Journal.

Dr Richard Mejzner, a GP in Budleigh and chair of the Woodbury, Exmouth and Budleigh sub-locality of NHS NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said “We regret that we are unable to respond to speculation and/or rumour.”

The leaked Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Wider Devon states: “The changes we are proposing will result in a reduction in the number of acute and community beds across our system of the order of 590 by 2021.

“NEW Devon are developing consultation proposals on the overall strategic direction of travel and provision changes, the components of new models of care and specific intentions to close a number of community hospital beds.”

Dr Mejzner added that he was able to comment on how the NHS ‘success regime’ introduced last year was ‘currently improving care’ across Devon.

He said: “A series of working group meetings took place during the summer.

“These were the culmination of a 12-month process in which local clinicians have been further developing the model of care for health services, focusing on patients who are likely to benefit the most.

“These are frail and elderly people, people with dementia and people with long-term conditions affecting both their physical and mental health.

“The aim is to join up care more effectively in some areas so people are not being sent to hospital just because services are not available to keep them at home.

“Whilst people do sometimes need treatment in hospital, it is essential that they are then able to go home when they are well enough and it is safe for them to do so.

“For frail and elderly people, a longer-than-necessary stay in hospital can cause harm, exposing them to infection and reducing their ability to live independently at home.”

Dr Mejzner said the new model would focus on three ‘core interventions’ for frail and elderly people – a comprehensive assessment and identification of patients at risk, a single point of access, and rapid response.

A report on the Sustainability and Transformation Plan will be given to Devon County Council’s health and wellbeing scrutiny committee on Monday.

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