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AXMINSTER: No news on hospital future at League of Friends AGM

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A “Leg Club” and chemotherapy services could come to Axminster Hospital, but there was no news on the in-bed review when league of friends members held their AGM on Friday. The AGM was held in Axminster Guildhall and League of Friends chairman Dr Phil Taylor said: “You will all be aware that the future of community hospital beds in Axe Valley is under consideration. “Our clinical commissioning group is struggling with a very large deficit. “There is an increasing gap between health and social care needs of our population and the resources available to pay for it. The terrible events at Stafford Hospital have led to a focus on nursing numbers on hospital wards and its relationship to good quality, compassionate care. “This focus and recommendations that ratios of patients to staff are decreased is threatening the viability of community hospitals because of their small size.” He said that Dr James Vann was closely involved with the process and was trying to safeguard Axminster’s interests. Looking back on the past 12 months, Dr Taylor said: “To support our ever developing endoscopy department, the league funded two new video cytoscopes at a cost of £45,000. “A further £15,000 has been spent on supporting the general well-being of both in and out-patients with new chairs, tables and cubicle curtains.” Looking to the future, he said that lonely leg ulcer patients may be offered treatment at the hospital instead of being visited by a nurse at home. The League had studied a project in North Devon, which had proved popular with patients because it provided a social element in addition to treatment. This concept is known as “a leg club” and might be introduced in Axminster. Dr Taylor said: “Whilst receiving treatment for their leg ulcer, these patients can enjoy social interaction and receive other services. “The nurse can also see more patients, so it is easy to see why this Leg Club is an award-winning idea. “We hope to bring day-case services to Axminster Hospital, and it is possible that chemotherapy services, provided by Force, will be starting later in the year.”

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