MP joins fight to save Torrington Hospital beds

Residents protesting against the planned bed closures last month.

Residents protesting against the planned bed closures last month. - Credit: Archant

Geoffrey Cox has called an urgent meeting to see if the decision on the pilot period starting on September 1 can be reveresed.

THE MP for Torridge and West Devon has joined the fight to prevent bed closures at Torrington’s cottage hospital.

The pilot period of ‘Transforming Torrington Together’ is due to start on September 1, with 10 inpatient beds at the hospital closing.

But Geoffrey Cox has called an urgent meeting of healthcare officials from the North Devon Healthcare Trust and the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to try and persuade them the move it ‘unwise’.

Mr Cox said he wished to hear justification for the decision to treat those people who would ordinarily be an inpatient, in their own homes.

He said: “I am convening a meeting with Northern Devon Healthcare Trust and CCG officials to determine the basis of the decision and to see if it can be reversed.

“I believe there is considerable value in having at least some hospital beds close to local communities and that until the new system is tried and tested it would seem unwise to remove all beds from Great Torrington Hospital immediately.

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“What is to happen to those whose health declines and who need inpatient healthcare but who should not be taking up beds in an acute hospital such as North Devon District Hospital?

“If the answer is a nursing home, we need to understand what these arrangements will be and whether the care will be comparable.”

Despite protests over the cuts to beds by residents, the healthcare trust said it has invested an additional £182,000 into the community nursing and therapy teams ahead of the pilot period.

In the last couple of years, the community rehabilitation team has tripled in size from seven staff to 21, and is moving to an 8am to 8pm day from 9am to 5pm.

The trust said the investment had enabled staff to support patients with greater complexities in their own homes.

The hospital will be hosting a number of drop in sessions in the outpatient clinic rooms for residents to have their say on the changes.

The first session will be held today from 10am to noon, and every Friday this month.

There will also be a public meeting at The Plough from 10am-noon on Saturday, August 17.

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