CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride has urged the North, East and West Devon Clinical Commissioning Group to “think again” over their decision to close the beds at Okehampton Hospital. Mr Stride was told of the move by Angela Pedder, Lead Chief Executive of the CCG’s ‘Your Future Care’ team just prior to the decision being made public. Angela Pedder is leading the CCG’s move towards a new model of less hospital-based care and more care in the community in patients’ homes.
Mr Stride said:
“I fully appreciate that there are huge demands on the NHS with an ageing population and rising costs due to new expensive treatments and major problems such as obesity. But I strongly disagree that the solution is to remove the beds from Okehampton Hospital, leaving three hospitals in the east of the CCG’s area with beds and the only hospital in the west of the region with none.
“If the beds are to disappear, the hospital is the obvious choice of location for the Health and Wellbeing hub that the CCG recognises is needed in the area and although far from the ideal outcome at least this would keep the hospital open and ensure that services were provided close to where they are needed. I pressed this point very hard with Angela Pedder during our discussion.”
Mr Stride has pledged to liaise closely with a working group that the CCG intends to set up to identify the best location of the hub and will stay in regular contact with local stakeholders.