STITCH group dismisses report Torrington Hospital bed closure ‘will benefit community’

Protesters outside Torrington Hospital when the pilot was announced last year. Protesters outside Torrington Hospital when the pilot was announced last year.

Thursday, February 13, 2014
9:24 AM

The campaign group’s chairman says the draft report is ‘full of anomalies’ after hundreds march through the town in support of the community hospital.

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A CAMPAIGN group fighting to save Torrington Hospital’s beds has dismissed claims by a new report stating community teams are providing a ‘quality alternative to community inpatient beds’.

The report published by the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) and the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) includes data from the first eight weeks of the pilot period.

It indicates that between October 1 and November 26, 2013, there were three admissions to the hospital against 134 referrals into the community team.

It also states the friends and family test score for patients receiving the home-based care service was good.

Dr Chris Bowman, vice chair of NEW Devon CCG said: “At this early stage, the data tells us that patients in Torrington are receiving a great service from the community teams and one which is proving to be a high quality clinical alternative to community inpatient beds.”

Kate Lyons, director of operations at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust added: “The data collected so far bears out our passionate belief that the residents of Torrington would benefit from this enhanced model of community services, leaving us free to develop the hospital into a hub offering local services.”

But Margaret Brown, chairman of Saving Torrington’s Irreplacable Torrington Cottage Hospital (STITCH), said the group would be publishing its own report to ‘ensure the correct facts are known’.

She said: “We dispute those facts in the report and we shall be wording a very strong letter as a right of reply.

“Everything is coming out in draft form – I don’t know how they can say it’s correct at the moment when the facts are not known at all.

“There are many anomalies among this report that we shall be correcting through our right of reply report.”

Mrs Brown also thanked hundreds of people who turned out to a Day of Action on Saturday and marched through the town in support of the hospital.

A public meeting will be held on Saturday, February 22 at 11am at the Howe Concert Hall for people to quiz a panel on the latest developments.

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