” … A Department of Health spokesman said: “Today he [Jeremy Hunt] visited Weston Hospital, Barnstaple Hospital and Exeter Hospital.
“The purpose of these visits was not to do media but to talk to hospital staff and managers about their work and gain insights into the local healthcare system.”
Councillor [Frank] Biederman [DCC Independent, Fremington Rural] sees the visit as more political than practical, he said: “Jeremy Hunt is at North District Hospital today. This tells me they are expecting another election, within 12 months, no other reason he would come to North Devon.”
Frank, with his tongue firmly in his cheek, added: “They should stamp on his foot, really hard and send him to Exeter for treatment.”
The visit comes a couple of months after the results of an Acute Services Review from the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust.
A report issued as a part of the review recommended that North Devon District Hospital, one of those visited by Mr Hunt today, retain its A&E, maternity, paediatrics, neonatal care and emergency stroke services.
Health campaigners from Save Our Hospital Services welcomed the news but are seeking clarification on how theses services will be funded in the future.”