Big meeting in Honiton on bed cuts: 11 July, Mackarness Hall, 7 pm, Claire Wright and Parish speaking

“A public meeting to update the community on the saga surrounding Honiton Hospital will be held next month.

The session, which will be held at the Mackarness Hall on July 11, from 7pm, has been organised by Honiton Senior Voice and the steering committee of Save our Hospital Services.

Honiton and Tiverton MP Neil Parish and Independent councillor Claire Wright have been invited to the meeting, as well as Honiton mayor Cllr John Zarczynski.

Cllr Wright recently proposed to Devon County Council that NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Clinical Commissioning Group’s (NHS NEW Devon CCG) decision to close all inpatient beds at Seaton and Honiton hospitals should be referred to the Secretary of State for Health.

The proposal was deferred until July but the meeting will be updated of any progress and given details of how to represent their view when the council meet.

June Brown, chair of Honiton Senior Voice, said: “We are far from giving up on saving our hospital beds and the ball has now been placed at the feet of NEW Devon CCG to answer the questions that have been raised by East Devon and Devon county councillors.

“As far as we are concerned the case for retaining the beds is overwhelming given the needs in this area and the pressures on Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and other services.

“We think our GPs also want these beds retained so hope to send a very strong message from this meeting to the NEW Devon CCG to answer the case made. In coming months we shall continue the fight to retain these beds.”

Senior Voice spokesman Tony Simpson added: “Staff at Honiton Hospital are already having to consider their futures and there is already uncertainty about what will happen after September by doctors, nurses and patients who may need in patient facilities locally.

“There seems little prospect that the alternative quality home care systems promised will be in place.

“Look around Honiton – almost every care agency is desperately advertising for staff on fairly low wages and sometimes without adequate training. There are just insuffient care resources being put in.

“We also call on our MP to organise a delegation to Jeremy Hunt from local bodies representing patients, professionals and health trade unions.

“Mr Parish should now be standing up in Parliament telling the government that he and the people he represents will not accept the closure of beds, maternity and other services at any price.

“We expect him to vote according to his constituent’s wishes.”