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Philip Evans


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COLYTON: Backing for Seaton Hospital

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

SEATON Hospital League of Friends is adamant that people admitted to hospital should have the option to be treated locally. Following reports that the number of community hospital beds in East Devon could be reduced, a League of Friends spokesperson said: “Where a person needs treatment in hospital, they should be given the choice of receiving this in the much less stressful environment of a community hospital. “We believe that for many local people, Seaton Hospital is and will continue to be the best option.” A wider picture of the situation was given when Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW CCG) executive team member Tamara Powderley and Seaton-based GP and NEW member, Dr Rob Daniels, addressed East Devon District Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee this month. They said that the current model of lots of units with few patients was not economically efficient. Various options are being looked at and the current total of 64 in-beds at community hospitals in Axminster, Seaton, Honiton, Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth could be slashed to 48, possibly spread across two or three sites. It was stressed, however, that no formal recommendation has been made, let alone a decision. The League of Friends statement continued: “For many patients the medical care they receive at Seaton Hospital is the same as they would receive at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, but the experience can be very different. “Seaton Hospital is smaller, quieter, and more personal. The excellent staff have the opportunities to give unhurried care to patients. Being treated close to home brings a feeling of familiarity, and family and friends can visit conveniently. “Discharge home is overseen by a rehabilitation team that links supervision in the hospital to support at home. The hospital also provides first class palliative care to patients not wishing for or unable to receive treatment at home. “There is currently a threat that some hospital beds in East Devon will be closing. The league recognises that this is a challenging time for the NHS due to financial constraints and an ageing population. “Community hospitals have found themselves under pressure in the squeeze. This has already had an effect, with in-patient beds at Seaton Hospital reduced. “In part, the reasoning behind this is a drive towards providing more care at home, for patients that would currently be treated in hospital, so called Hospital at Home. Whilst this is an admirable aim in certain cases, there will always remain patients for whom in-patient care is essential. “It is the view of the league that keeping beds open at Seaton Hospital is of vital importance to the wellbeing of the community. “The CCG that has the responsibility for making these important decisions is currently preparing for a public consultation on this matter. In the meantime, the league is approaching the CCG directly to put these views across.” The CCG has made a short film on community service. This and information on how to give feedback to the CCG can be found at Alternatively send an email or give a written response to Community Services, NHS NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QL.


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