Owl says: he makes no mention of what will happen to those already closed and up for sale. This also raises major inequality-of-care issues for the eastern side of East Devon (where all community beds have been cut) and western East Devon where the only community beds are in Sidmouth and Exmouth.
“The Health Secretary has promised to end the closure of community hospitals to ensure patients can be treated near their homes.
Matt Hancock said it was time to end the era of moving medical departments to large regional hospitals while smaller ones were closed.
He wants more patients to be cared for locally, particularly for routine procedures such as scans, physiotherapy and treatment for minor injuries.
Set up 150 years ago as cottage hospitals with just a few beds, Britain now has around 500 community hospitals that provide a broad range of services for local patients, including end-of-life care, rehabilitation for the elderly, scans, X-rays and minor injury units.
But NHS cuts mean dozens are facing closure across the country, including in Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Cumbria, Leicestershire, Devon and Dorset.
Local health officials have been told to make savings and improve care, and many argue that patients can be treated more safely and cheaply in larger hospitals, even if they have further to travel.
But Mr Hancock believes that although patients should be prepared to go further afield for major operations such as heart bypass surgery, other procedures should be offered closer to home. …”