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AXMINSTER:More fears over hospital future

Thursday, 03 April 2014

Health bosses have announced a shake-up to “secure sustainable services” at Axminster Hospital – and have admitted that the in-patient beds are under review.
Several well-informed sources have approached Pulman’s View, claiming the ten remaining beds at the hospital are to close in the near future.
When chairing a town council meeting, on a totally different matter, on March 28th town mayor Jeremy Walden said: “Things are to happen in town over the next fortnight, and it is not very good.”
He didn’t elaborate and would not comment further after the meeting, but it is widely believed that he referred to the hospital.
New Devon Clinical Commissioning Group and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust are the organisations responsible for commissioning and providing healthcare in Axminster respectively.
Both organisations deny that a decision has been taken, but issued a joint statement saying: “Whilst there are no proposals at present the CCG and NDHT will address some of the concerns with the local community and start to consider ways to secure sustainable services in Axminster.
“Collectively, we need to decide whether Axminster community in-patient beds provide value for money and benefit the health of the whole community.
“Partly we will do this by looking at the successes of home-based care in other areas of Devon and partly by engaging the community to discuss their health needs
“There are no proposals to close Axminster Community Hospital.”
The number of open in-patient beds has gradually declined from 18 to 10 in just over a year.
The statement continued: “We understand the concerns being expressed in Axminster and know that people value their local hospital.
“The financial challenges facing the NHS in England is significant and means we have to look at how we provide more service for the same money. We are confronting this challenge by working with communities to understand their health needs and design services that make our money go further.
“We have already established good channels of engagement locally, we attend town council meetings and work with other local organisations.”
Axminster Hospital League of Friends chairman Dr Phil Taylor declined to comment

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