New Nightingale: is this the economic consequence of Madness? Asks correspondent.

One of Owl’s correspondents has taken the message “Stay Alert” to heart.

“To support the maximum number of beds (120), 450 NHS clinical staff from across the region would work at the hospital.” (From recent post)

The correspondent asks:

Is this the economics of madness?  How many hospital beds have been axed at community hospitals?  How much will it cost to build/maintain a temporary facility which may / may not be required?

And points to the debate over community hospital beds closures conducted in 2018 . When Devon County Council said closure-threatened community hospitals in Devon should be used as health and wellbeing centres for local people – but only ‘where appropriate. ( After more than an hours debate, Conservatives refused to delete the weasel words: “where appropriate” as proposed by Independents, including Councillors Martin Shaw and Claire Wright)

‘Hospitals in Dartmouth, Bovey Tracey, Ashburton and Paignton have all closed in the past two years, while closure of inpatient beds at Exeter, Seaton, Honiton and Okehampton hospitals took place last year and Teignmouth hospital is under threat from closure.’

And as Claire Wright pointed out in the debate:

‘’Around 200 beds have gone since 2012 and there are around five hospitals in the county in the process of being closed. People view it as selling off the family silver are the Beeching cuts but for hospital buildings.’ 

How prophetic!