Thursday, 27 April 2017

Devon County Council elections: the issues > the NHS

The future of heath and care services in the county has been hotly contested these last months, with all sides claiming support for the beleaguered NHS:
Futures Forum: The future of Devon's health services: "Care in the community is not working"
Futures Forum: The future of Devon's hospitals >>> demonstration >>> You Can’t Fool Us Day >>> Saturday 1st April at 10am >>> at the Sidmouth Victoria Hospital
Futures Forum: The future of Devon's hospitals and care services >>> >>> extra cash from the budget?

And the issue has become a hot issue in the county election campaign...

The incumbent Councillor for the Sid Valley, Stuart Hughes, was full of praise following a serious illness last year:
“We have a dedicated NHS service that we can truly be proud of... "
Sidmouth councillor Stuart ‘lucky to be alive’ - Breaking news & sport in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald

He is also a keen cyclist:
Discover the benefits of commuting by bike during Ride to Work Week | News centre

And is involved in the new cycling group:
Futures Forum: Sid Valley Links >>> a new group for safe cycling and walking networks

However, the main challenger, District Cllr Marianne Rixson, has been very much involved in the new campaign group to 'Save Our Heath Services':
SOHS-East Devon - Home
Sidmouth “red line” Save our Hospitals pics – Tory councillors conspicuous by their absence | East Devon Watch

And there has been a lot of pressure going on in other constituencies:
If you value your NHS don’t vote Tory in Seaton, vote Independent East Devon Alliance | East Devon Watch
Ottery Hospital’s “red line” led by DCC Councillor Claire Wright | East Devon Watch

Meanwhile, the SOHS group has written to all the candidates:

And it is asking them to sign a pledge:

Meanwhile, it is understood that, as of today:
"So far only 7 responses: Ian Hall, Helen Parr and Stuart Hughes, (Con); Paul Hayward, Martin Shaw and Marianne Rixson, (EDA); Jim Knight, Ind."

This has been taken up by the Herald:

Campaigners call on Devon candidates to sign pledge against health cuts

27 April 2017

Stephen Sumner

Campaigners are calling on county council candidates to sign a pledge to oppose further cuts to health services across Devon.

Save Our Hospital Services (SOHS) claims a plan to reduce the county’s NHS budget by £550million by 2020/21 cannot be implemented without posing a threat to the health and wellbeing of constituents.

The group says the new model of ‘care at home’ – which led to the recent decision to close community beds in Honiton and Seaton’s hospitals – is unproven and will place a further strain on social care.

The pledge includes promises to fight for ‘adequate and fair’ funding for the NHS and social care in Devon, and to only support the ‘care at home’ model once it has been proved to deliver a level of care equal to better than currently exists.

Those who sign also say they want to see the decision to close inpatient beds reversed.

An SOHS spokesman said: “SOHS East Devon believes that the provision of health and social care should be a key issue in the forthcoming county council elections and that all candidates should demonstrate that, if elected, they will positively and proactively represent their constituents in health matters.

“In order to assess which candidates are willing to challenge the proposed cuts to local health and care services, we have sent a covering letter and a copy of the pledge by email or post to all East Devon candidates.

“We are asking them to sign the pledge to that effect and return it

“Progress on signed pledges received will be posted on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/groups/SOHSeastdevon/.”

Justifying the bed closures, a NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group spokesman said a growing body of evidence shows that many people can be treated better in the community than in hospital and the NHS needs to refocus its resources.

Campaigners call on Devon candidates to sign pledge against health cuts - Breaking news & sport in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald

The Independents have made a lot of noise about pledging their support:
East Devon Alliance candidates for DCC have all signed NHS pledge | East Devon Watch
I promise to do all I can to protect local NHS services and hospitals - Claire Wright

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