Friday sees the consultation come to an end on what to do about hospital bed provision in the area:
Futures Forum: The future of East Devon's hospitals: have your say on plans to cut community hospital beds >>> consultation closes Friday 6th January
Here is a very good summary of the views collected over the weeks from public meetings and from people working in health in Sidmouth and East Devon, sent in by a correspondent:
Several options have been proposed at the NHS website
Your Future Care
Until recently, Option B has been campaigned for, with only 4 limited options available:
Futures Forum: The future of Sidmouth's hospital >>> campaigning for Option B 'to keep the hard-earned facilities and staff'
Now, a fifth is being pushed for, as outlined by our correspondent:
Tiverton (24! - see link below) Sidmouth (16) Seaton (16) Exmouth (16)
The distribution of beds should be shared equally across the area. The proposals in “Your Future Care” document failed to receive the support of both the DCC and the EDDC local authorities who would be tasked to underwrite the social care required. Lacking democratic accountability policy for East Devon should not be determined by a PFI package in Tiverton.
The case for retaining beds in Sidmouth has been inadequately considered in respect to Access, Demographics, Finance and Quality of Accommodation (For details see 8 below)
Option C: Too centralised on Exeter.
How much per day does an inpatient stay cost at the RD&E and Tiverton compared with the Victoria Hospital in Sidmouth?
8: Sidmouth Access: Firstly it is the most centrally located hospital in the area and is very well served by public transport, particularly from Honiton and Ottery St Mary which have both lost their inpatient services.
Demographics: In the Sid Valley 11 % of the population is 85 years or over, which is amongst the highest in Europe. This section of the demographic requires more impatient care which will be cheaper at the Victoria Hospital than the RD&E.
Finance: For 20 years residents of Sidmouth have raised £5m towards improving the accommodation at their cherished local hospital. Should the inpatient’s wards be closed the Cottage Hospital status will be lost and it is highly unlikely the remaining health centre will attract donations on the same scale. This means future funding will be lost to the NHS.
Quality of Wards: Over the years the Hospital Comforts Fund have improved the ward accommodation at Sidmouth considerably. Compared with the nucleus wards at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital, Sidmouth's hospital will offer far superior quality of accommodation and nursing care. Surely it is better and cheaper to decant patients at the expensive RD&E to the local inpatients' facilities as soon as possible. Attempting to send frail patients out to non-existent community services will lead to yet more bed-blocking.
Futures Forum: The future of Sidmouth's hospital: very little 'public consolation' as proposals are made to cut all inpatient beds
Futures Forum: The future of East Devon's hospitals: getting the figures right
Futures Forum: The future of Devon's hospitals: Tiverton cannot be closed because it is run as a Private Finance Hospital - "but the local NHS trust will not a single brick"