Devon MPs will be meeting with Philip Dunne today (Wednesday) amid fears North Devon hospital services will be cut.

Devon MPs are set to hold crisis talks with Health Minister Philip Dunne today (Wednesday) to express concerns about proposed cuts to hospital services.

The Westminster meeting comes just days after a report was leaked outlining plans to axe nearly 600 acute hospital beds in the county.

The draft Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) seen by the Gazette also suggests North Devon District Hospital services such as paediatrics, maternity, neonatology, cardiovascular and stroke services could move to Plymouth and Exeter.

North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones told the Gazette: "We're also seeking a clear understanding of how the two parallel processes - the Success Regime and the Sustainability and Transformation Plans - fit together.

"These are being led by NHS England, not by the Government, but we want the minister to know the strength of feeling in Devon.

"For my part, I'll be saying very clearly that any idea of closing North Devon District Hospital's maternity unit is unacceptable.

Will services be lost or changed at North Devon District Hospital? Picture: Tony GussinWill services be lost or changed at North Devon District Hospital? Picture: Tony Gussin

"I will join the community in fighting any such idea, and will listen to what the medical professionals and patients are telling me.

"I've received many letters and emails from worried residents, and quite understandably so.

"A small number are seeking to make it a party political issue, but that's neither helpful nor fair.

"NHS England asked the Government for eight billion pounds. Only the Conservatives committed to providing that sum, and in fact have increased it to 10 billion.

"NHS England must now ensure they organise their services so that North Devon is not left wanting compared with the rest of the county.

"I will continue do everything I can, with the community, to fight our case."

An estimated 500 people took part in a silent protest against cuts to services at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple on Tuesday morning. Picture: Tony GussinAn estimated 500 people took part in a silent protest against cuts to services at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple on Tuesday morning. Picture: Tony Gussin

Mr Heaton-Jones will be answering questions about health provision in the area at a Barnstaple Town Council meeting in the Guildhall on Monday, from 7pm.