Public meetings and gatherings this week as concerned campaigners look to the future of North Devon’s health services

The future of hospital services in North Devon will come under the spotlight again this week at a series of public meetings.

A meeting is being held at Barnstaple Guildhall tomorrow (Thursday) at 7pm by Save North Devon’s Hospital Services (SNDHS).

Meanwhile, on Saturday, people are invited to bring placards to an open assembly outside Barnstaple Library at 11am, with speakers, local mayors and councillors in attendance.

And on Tuesday (June 21), patients of Barnstaple GP surgeries are invited to have their say on the future of the hospital at Litchdon Medical Centre in Newport at 6.30pm.

Communities continue to voice concerns over a sweeping review of the entire health and care system across North, East and West Devon.

Northern Devon Healthcare Trust chief executive Dr Alison Diamond has said there were ‘no red lines’ to the review of services and all options would be considered.

Dave Clinch, for the SNDHS campaign, said people will die and others face permanent impairment if the proposed Success Regime ‘Case for Change’ sees cuts to services such as accident and emergency at Barnstaple.

Previous Barnstaple Mayor Val Elkins said it would be reassuring for local people to hear key services such as A and E and maternity were not going to be affected.

“We know that the NHS in Devon is in financial difficulties, but any suggestion of cuts in services like accident and emergency and maternity is a terrifying prospect,” she said.

Ilfracombe mayor Paul Crabb has issued a rallying cry on behalf of the town council, calling on town and parish councils across the district to join it in unanimously rejecting any cuts to ‘vital’ services.

In an open letter to Dr Diamond, the council said it was ‘deeply concerned’ at changes to the 
local health service – including the closure of the Tyrrell Hospital – and said further cuts were not acceptable.

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