Inpatient beds at Holsworthy Community Hospital are to be reopened.
Beds at the town’s hospital were temporarily closed back in March 2017, with Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) citing ‘significant’ safety concerns.
However, healthcare commissioner Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) has now written to the NDHT to formally request a programme to reopen beds.
In a statement, the CCG said it was ‘no longer able to support’ the closure.
It said: “A range of information was presented to the CCG by NDHT at the time of the temporary closure and additional data has been received in the 12 months since then.
“Having reviewed the latest information provided, the CCG is no longer able to support the temporary closure and we have written to NDHT to formally request an implementation programme to re-open the beds.
“This includes asking the trust how they intend to recruit and what considerations they will give to moving staff from other areas and the risks this may present.”
The CCG added it was ‘under no illusion’ of the difficulty in reopening inpatient beds at a time when there is a shortage of qualified nursing and physiotherapy staff both locally and nationally.
The news has been welcomed by Torridge and West Devon MP, Geoffrey Cox.
He said: “Our communities have placed a great deal of trust in the CCG and I am pleased that they have re-examined the current situation based on cogent evidence that there is a real need for community beds in our rural area.
“Having worked closely with the mayor, Jon Hutchings, county councillor, Barry Parsons, and the mayor’s working group, I commend their efforts which have no doubt helped to bring about this positive development.
“I shall maintain my recent discussions on this issue with the CCG and the NDDHT and look forward to developments in connection with the re-opening.”
“This time last year, during the General Election, the issue of Holsworthy Hospital was one which was consistently raised with me on the doorstep.
“I made clear that one of my top priorities was to ensure a fair and good level of local health services and I shall continue to demand no less for the people of Torridge and West Devon.”