Hundreds turn out to air views on South Molton care facilities

THERE was standing room only at a packed meeting to discuss the future of important care facilities in South Molton on Thursday night. Around 200 people attended the meeting arranged by South Molton Town Councillor David Worden in the light of uncertainti

THERE was standing room only at a packed meeting to discuss the future of important care facilities in South Molton on Thursday night.Around 200 people attended the meeting arranged by South Molton Town Councillor David Worden in the light of uncertainties surrounding both the future of Beech House residential care home, and of the number of beds at the town's community hospital.Cllr Worden said he was delighted with the turnout: "We had put out more than 170 chairs and that wasn't enough as quite a few were standing, so the attendance must have been about 200."South Molton people are incredibly proud of the care and service provided by the staff at Beech House and South Molton Community Hospital, which is second to none. "Both are vital parts of community and we are extremely disappointed that eight beds at the hospital are closed, particularly when we hear of acute shortages of beds in North Devon. "We hear of operations being postponed and patients being unable to return from Exeter hospital to North Devon and yet our hospital is not being used too capacity. This just doesn't make sense."People at the meeting in the Assembly Rooms were given updates on each situation by Devon County Council and Northern Devon Healthcare Trust spokespersons.A Trust spokesperson sad that "recruitment issues" had forced the closure of eight beds at South Molton Community Hospital.And while the Beech House site on North Road is generally accepted by all parties to be too small, the town council is currently trying to negotiate a land deal that will enable Devon County Council to provide Government-favoured "extra care flats" while safeguarding a residential care provision in the town.

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