Motions to pause reviews which could jeopardise services at North Devon District Hospital and to ensure fair funding for services were unanimously passed at County Hall on Thursday.
Devon County Council has called on the NHS to pause what it has called a ‘flawed’ review of hospital services in the county until they are properly funded.
Motions forwarded by North Devon councillors Frank Biederman and Brian Greenslade were unanimously approved at a full council meeting at Exeter’s County Hall on Thursday.
Councillor Greenslade called on the NHS’s twin reviews – the Success Regime and the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) to be paused until issues of independence were fully investigated.
Councillor Biederman called on MPs to lobby government ministers to ‘urgently and significantly increase the level of funding to the NHS, in order to protect our precious health services for current and future generations’.
DCC leader Cllr John Hart said the two motions were ‘two of the most important we’ve had on county council for a very long time’.
After the meeting he said: “In light of these conclusions and the very strong feelings in communities across Devon about the local proposals we think there needs to be a pause in these plans to allow health managers to review their budgets and for our MPs to fight for adequate funding for health and social care for our residents.”
Cllr Greenslade said he was ‘delighted’ at the outcome of Thursday’s meeting.
He said: “I am delighted that my notice of motion calling for the Success Regime and STP process to be halted was passed today with 100 percent support from the full county council.
“Devon County Council is the largest local authority in the south west. We have spoken up for the people of Devon who are terrified by the implications of this flawed process and puts DCC in a strong position to resist this attack on the health services we need.”
“Devon MPs need to up their game and lobby harder for the county.
“The eight Devon Tory MP’s have the power to overcome the Government’s slender majority. They should use it to ensure fair funding for Devon.”
Fair funding was the subject of cllr Biederman’s motion, citing a disparity between saving hospital services and building high cost inter-city rail links.
He said: “It is a cross party thing, not political, it is everybody in North Devon and wider Devon.
“What a tragic waste of money. It costs £6m a year for the STP to run this campaign.
They are willing to spend £50 billion a year to get people to London from Birmingham 20 minutes quicker, but they are willing to cut our hospital in North Devon.
“How is that fair? People will die.”
The region is facing twin reviews by the Success Regime and the STP as the NHS tries to make savings of £440million.
The same motion from cllr Greenslade was almost unanimously approved by North Devon Council last month.