Health trust will have a big fight on its hands if review of community hospitals threatened closure of the Tyrrell, residents warn.

A stubborn fight has been promised if a review of community hospitals threatens the future of the Tyrrell in Ilfracombe.

Northern Devon Healthcare Trust told the Gazette last week it would be looking at the use of community hospitals across the district.

It could not say how they might be used in future or whether any closures could happen.

Mike Creek MBE, secretary of Ilfracombe and District Trades Council, said he had already received concerns from local people who feared such a review could results in closure of the Tyrrell.

“Ilfracombe cannot allow closure of this most important local facility,” he said.

“If there is a decision made to close our Tyrrell, it will be met with a massive local campaign.

“Its 10 bed spaces mean that local people, especially the elderly when they are ill, want to be in Ilfracombe so families can visit without having to travel to Barnstaple. The resident minor injuries unit treats a large number of incidents, and the population of Ilfracombe more than doubles in the tourist season.”

Mr Creek said without other Tyrrell services such as the X ray and physio units, there would be more pressure on local health centres and the Barnstaple hospital.