EAST DEVON WATCH
Shining a light into the darkest corners of East Devon
Full information about voting:
Protestors from Seaton, Honiton, Okehampton and elsewhere in Devon will converge on County Hall again on Tuesday 25th July from 1 pm, before the special meeting of Devon County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee at 2.15 which will decide whether to refer the closure of beds in the three hospitals to the Secretary of State.
NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group proposes to replace the beds with a new system of care at home. We shall be pointing out that:
The new system, which they have been developing only since March, has not been tested in winter, let alone a flu epidemic; it is uncertain that they will be able to staff it effectively over time given the complex travelling arrangements that it requires for medical as well as care staff.
The small number of beds (halved to 71) which they propose to retain across the 3 remaining community hospitals ignores the facts that East Devon has far more over-85s (the key users of community beds) than other areas of Devon and that these numbers are projected to treble in the next two decades.
The remaining beds will not be distributed in an ‘even geographic spread’ as the CCG claim but, concentrated in Tiverton, Exmouth and Sidmouth, give no provision at all in the Axe Valley which is the area of East Devon furthest from the RD&E.
The closure of beds is driven by the CCG’s aim of reducing the amount of rent which it has to pay to NHS Property Services for community hospital space, and is probably a prelude to the gradual elimination of community hospitals over the next few years.
Six speakers from the affected communities will address the Committee in the Public Participation session, and I shall be addressing them as County Councillor for Seaton and Colyton.
We urge that the Committee use its legal power to refer the CCG’s decisions to the Secretary of State.
Independent East Devon Alliance County Councillor for Seaton & Colyton”
“The Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee will decide whether to refer a decision to close 72 community hospital beds in Eastern Devon, on Tuesday (25 July), to the Secretary of State for Health.
It follows protracted discussions at the previous meeting last month about whether this was the preferred course of action, after I made a proposal to do so.
Dozens of people were in the public gallery waiting to hear what the committee had to say.
A full account of this meeting can be found here –
In the end it was decided that a special meeting should take place in July to debate the issue.
The agenda papers for Tuesday’s meeting include a legal paper which sets out some issues that the committee may consider before coming to its decision.
Since the June meeting it has been announced that Honiton Maternity Unit is set to close along with Okehampton and Tiverton’s. The loss of the general medical beds has been a factor in maintaining the viability of those units.
There will be a demonstration from a coachload of people from Seaton and Honiton that will take place at 1pm on Tuesday on the steps of County Hall.
The meeting starts at 2.15pm.
Pic: Giving an interview to ITV about the sad closure of Ottery Hospital’s beds back in 2014.
Here’s the link to the papers: – http://democracy.devon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=429&MId=2643&Ver=4
“Regardless of political differences, there is one thing that usually guarantees consensus from both political parties and the general public – the importance of protecting vulnerable children.
However, it now seems the Conservative government do not share this consensus.
Charities claim that the government have been refusing compensation to confirmed child sexual abuse victims based on the grounds that they believe that the children ‘consented’ to the abuse. …”
And just in case you think this is “fake news” it’s here too, also reported in the Daily Telegraph:
“Farmers would receive payments for delivering services such as storing carbon, managing water quality, connecting habitats, reducing flood risk or protecting famous beauty spots and important landscapes.”
Anyone notice a flaw in this scenario?
Farmers who DON’T store carbon, manage water quality, connect habitats, reduce flood risk or protect famous beauty spots and important landscapes WON’T be fined!
“… It has prompted SENDCo teacher Hannah Rose, of Bradley Barton Primary School, in Newton Abbot, top launch a petition entitled ‘petition to withdraw harmful funding changes for pupils with SEND in Devon’, opposing the cuts.
She said: “These changes will affect all children in all schools in Devon. Where specialist support staff are lost through redundancies, ‘generalist’ staff who usually support all pupils’ learning will need to be diverted to support those with the highest needs. All children will be taught in higher ratios, with less support.” …
“At Devon County Council yesterday, Seaton & Colyton’s Independent East Devon Alliance councillor, Martin Shaw, asked Councillor Roger Croad, Cabinet Member for Transportation, if the Council would support peak services on the X52 bus service from Seaton and Beer to Exeter, which are threatened with closure by First Wessex.
First Wessex proposes to run only two off-peak buses a day in each direction from September. While better than nothing, these are inadequate for people in Seaton and Beer who want to work or study in Exeter or get to appointments at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. Relying just on these services, people would barely be able to spend an hour in Exeter before having to get the bus back.
This is the only service direct from Seaton and Beer to the RD&E and this narrow window will not enable people to get to appointments. Using other services, people in Beer who want to get to the hospital will have to change twice in Seaton and Exeter Bus Station and the journey which currently takes an hour will take more than two hours each way, making it arduous and impractical for many people.
Councillor Croad initially replied to suggest that people could use these alternative routes. In a supplementary question, Councillor Shaw suggested that since hospital services are increasingly being centralised in the RD&E, the withdrawal of direct bus services discriminates against people without cars in communities like Seaton and Beer which are on the periphery of Devon. ‘Seaton is further from the RD&E than any other town in Devon and has the oldest population profile of any town in Devon’, he said. ‘We need direct public transport links to the acute hospital in Exeter.’
Councillor Croad then said that if Councillor Shaw would meet him afterwards, he would discuss the issue. When they talked, Councillor Croad agreed to look further at the question. The supplementary question and the reply can be seen from 1:47:50 to 1:49:15 on https://devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/283676.”
Can anyone make sense of remarks below?
“Devon and Cornwall police officer numbers have dropped below 3,000, according to new figures released in an apparent attempt by the Government to bury bad news.
The number of sworn officers at the force has reduced by 46 over the 12 months to March 31 and now stands at 2,914, a report published on Thursday shows. …
The former Devon and Cornwall police and crime commissioner, Tony Hogg, fought to keep officer numbers above the 3,000 figure for most of his four-year term.
His successor in the elected “crime czar” role, Alison Hernandez, unveiled a £24m plan to add 100 officers to the workforce in January by cutting around half of the police and community support officers (PCSO).
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report published on July 20 also shows that PCSO numbers have dropped 10 per cent in the two counties, from 347 to 311 in the year to March 31.
Staff numbers also plunged by 12 per cent over the year, from 1,488 to 1,306, a reduction of 182, the report shows. …
The leader of Labour’s county group of seven, Rob Hannaford, blamed the commissioner for the move to halve PCSO numbers, saying the PCC role was an “American gimmick” and “not the way forward”.
“PCSOs often fill gaps and there is concern that huge reductions will only diminish all the good work that has been done,” he told the meetign at County Hall. …
Roger Croad, chairman of the police and crime panel which oversees the PCC, insisted that decisions to re-shape the force were the “sole province” of the chief constable, Shaun Sawyer, and not decided by Ms Hernandez.
Mr Croad said in his opinion a sworn officer was “worth his weight in gold”, adding that chief cos Sawyer had made it clear that cutting PCSOs for officers was “his decision alone”.
“I am not her (sic) as an apologist for the chief constable or the commissioner,” he added.
“Most police forces have reduced PCSO numbers over five years whereas Devon and Cornwall have not. The chief constable has decided that the time is right; also there is a national requirement to uplift armed capacity to deal with the terrorist threat.
“As of June 1 there are 310 PCSOs which the chief constable wants to reduce to 150 by 2021, enabling 100 new officers.
“Several PCSOs have made the transition; there are no plans for any redundancies. The chief constable said he wants the right people with the right skills in the right place doing the right things.”