Group fears closure of Torrington cottage hospital
CAMPAIGNERS in Torrington have vowed to fight any attempts to close the town s cottage hospital and move it elsewhere. Northern Devon Healthcare Trust is currently consulting on the future of healthcare in the town and has said it is committed to keeping
CAMPAIGNERS in Torrington have vowed to fight any attempts to close the town's cottage hospital and move it elsewhere.
Northern Devon Healthcare Trust is currently consulting on the future of healthcare in the town and has said it is committed to keeping health services in Torrington.
It has also stressed the process is still ongoing and a list of options would not be drawn up until all feedback from the public, health workers and others had been considered. The consultation deadline is August 28.
But some fear the result of the process could be the closure 100-year-old Cottage Hospital and moving services to the old people's home complex at Hatchmoor.
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The trust has been consulting with the public and NHS staff to get their views on the future of the town's health service. An open day at the Plough Arts Centre saw a number of questionnaires distributed and these are still available.
Once the responses are all in the trust plans to hold a public meeting in September or October before making a decision is made.
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Local councillors and members of the hospital League of Friends were at the event with placards calling on people to make their views known.
Councillor Margaret Brown, of Torridge District and Torrington Town Council, has been working closely with the League to raise awareness of what they fear could potentially lead to the closure of the historic hospital.
"One of the suggestions was to provide more health services at Hatchmoor," she said. "From everyone I spoke to, there was not one who wanted to see the hospital move from its current location, because it is easy to access.
"Torrington has raised thousands of pounds to keep the hospital going. There are many things that people love about it and we will fight for it. They have said it's not fit for purpose but we haven't seen any details as to what's wrong with it or what it would cost to put it right."
But Jo Gibbs, deputy chief executive and director of operations for the trust, said: "We were delighted more than 80 residents came along to share their views at the drop-in session. The format gave us a chance to have valuable one-to-one conversations with people and to listen to their experiences, ideas and concerns.
"It was clear there was a perception, among some of those attending, that Torrington Community Hospital is about to close. We were pleased to be able to correct this unhelpful perception face-to-face and to reassure residents of the trust's commitment to retaining local services."
Anyone who has an opinion has been urged to make sure they complete a questionnaire before the deadline.