Members of STITCH to rally outside meeting of oversight group discussing six month trial at Torrington Hospital.
A PROTEST is due to take place this afternoon (Tuesday) in South Molton as members of the Torrington Hospital’s oversight group meet to discuss closing the inpatient beds.
It is understood the meeting to review the six month consultation at Torrington Hospital will be held at Crown Yealm House in South Molton at 2pm.
It was originally set to be held at the hospital, but was moved to the Plough Arts Centre, and then again yesterday (Monday) to the South Molton venue.
Save Torrington’s Irreplaceable Cottage Torrington Hospital (STITCH) has organised the protest to meet at Crown Yealm House at 1pm.
A joint statement from the NHS in North Devon and David McLellan, chair of the Torrington Oversight Group, said: “The six-month evaluation – which assesses whether the model of home-based care in Torrington is safe, effective and provides a good experience for patients – is now complete and the outcomes have been reviewed.
“The oversight group – which features members of the public and key stakeholders from the local community – is holding its latest meeting today to discuss the final evaluation and engagement reports. At this meeting, no votes will be taken on any decisions as this is not the role of the group. It is not a public meeting.
“After lengthy conversations we have reluctantly made the decision to move the oversight group meeting from The Plough in Torrington to the CCG offices at South Molton. This decision was taken on the basis of the scale of the lobby proposed, including the threat of illegal action from a member of public.
“We did not feel that the group’s membership, who are voluntary, would be able to speak freely in this environment and may feel intimidated.
“We were also not able to hold the meeting at Torrington Hospital as the NHS is absolutely duty bound to protect the interests of the 50 or so patients expected at the hospital today.
“No decisions will be made until the respective boards of the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group meet later this month.”
A new ultrasound service was also launched today at Torrington Hospital which is set to save up to 20 patients a week a journey to North Devon District Hospital.
Dr Chris Bowman, clinical director for community services for the Trust, said: “Ultrasound was identified by the community as a really useful service to be accessible locally and the analysis of local health need proved there was sufficient demand for the service.”