“Campaigners in the Seaton and Honiton areas are preparing for a crucial meeting of Devon County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee on
Tuesday 25th July
Following a meeting in June when they postponed a decision, this committee will now decide whether to use its power to refer the decision of the NEW Devon Clinical Commission Group (CCG) to close all in-patient beds in Seaton, Honiton and Okehampton hospitals to the Secretary of State for Health.
In March, the Committee sent 14 questions, from a resolution proposed by County Councillor Claire Wright, about the proposals to replace 72 of East Devon’s 144 community hospital beds by care at home. The questions included the justification for the surprise last-minute switch of beds from Seaton to Sidmouth, which left no beds at all in the Axe Valley, since Axminster has already lost its beds. Cllr Wright and other committee members are expected to examine the 14 points in detail to see which of them the CCG has answered satisfactorily.
Among those who will be speaking against the plans are Seaton and Colyton County Councillor, Martin Shaw, Seaton Mayor, Jack Rowland, and the Chair of EDDC’s Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Roger Giles, with others from Axminster and Honiton. Cllr Shaw says, ”This is a crucial decision not only for the beds but also for the future of the hospitals. The CCG’s next step is its local estate strategy, which is likely to involve partial or even complete closures of hospitals. Seaton is more remote from acute hospitals than any other East Devon town and it is vital that we retain our hospital, which was built by the local community.’
As in June, protestors will gather outside County Hall from 1 pm, and will then observe the meeting which starts at 2.15. A bus is being organised to take people from Seaton to County Hall:
anyone who would like to book a seat should contact Cllr Shaw (firstname.lastname@example.org or 07972 760254).”