Western East Devon profits from extra buses; eastern east devon gets nothing. Time to join West Dorset?

Yet again, the eastern side of our district loses out to the richer, Exeter commuter belt which now gets more buses to serve the “growth point” Exeter suburbs. We’ve lost our community hospitals to the west, now we’ve lost out on bus routes:

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/exeter-devon-stagecoach-bus-times-1846544

It seems we have no growth strategy for the towns and villages on the Dorset border. Is it time for the eastern side of the district perhaps to join West Dorset?

What does it have to lose?

Seaton fights for Axe Valley health care

Owl says: good to see the deprived eastern side of East Devon banding together to fight for its (similarly deprived) health services.

Priorities identified for Axe Valley healthcare provision

“A ten point plan to safeguard healthcare provision across the Axe Valley has been drawn up.

The list of priorities has been agreed following a series of meetings between representatives from statutory and voluntary health groups along with local councillors.

Following the workshops, organised by Seaton Area Health Matters group, 10 priorities have emerged:

* To take an area approach for the Axe Valley, not just Seaton.

* Improving communication and co-ordination between voluntary organisations.

* Maintaining and extending NHS services in GP practices and at Seaton Hospital.

* The challenges in older age groups (chronic diseases, loneliness and isolation).

* The challenges in younger age groups (drug and alcohol addiction, housing, poverty).

* Mental health support.

* Transport difficulties to access services.

* Promoting health and wellbeing

* Communication on what is available.

* Co-ordination and ownership to tackle the challenges.

To look at these challenges a steering group has been established under the chairmanship of Seaton town councillor Jack Rowland.

A Terms of Reference was agreed at the last meeting on July 12 and two initial working parties have been established to work on the priorities and report back on progress at the September 6 meeting of the steering group.

A website and Facebook page will also be set up to communicate what is happening and enable people to contribute their views and receive answers, where appropriate.

Explained Cllr Rowland: “The working parties will utilise the experience and knowledge of whoever they need to as part of producing recommendations for approval by the Seaton Area Health Matters Steering Group and then potential approval and support from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Royal Devon and Exeter Trust (RDE).

The next meetings of the Seaton Area Health Matters group are:

Thursday, September 13, at
2pm

and

Thursday, December 13, at 2pm

both at the Marshlands Centre, Harbour Road, Seaton.

Anyone who has an interest in healthcare in the Axe Valley is welcome to attend.

Representatives from groups involved in health, care and wellbeing are actively invited to become members of Seaton Area Health Matters by attending the meetings.

Other members of the steering group are: Cllr Geoff Pook (vice chair), Cllr Marcus Hartnell, Victoria Parry (Healthy eating charity and Clinical Commissioning Group community representative), Cllr Martin Shaw, Roger Trapani (CCG community representative) Tina Trapani (Devon Senior Voice representative), Dr Mark Welland (Seaton GP and chairman of Seaton and District Hospital League of Friends).”

http://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/group-identifies-patients-needs-1-5616100

Colyton “businesses” tell Mum not to hang out washing – Colyton residents react by hanging theirs out!

Owl says: “local businesses” rely on families with young children for their livlihood. Just as well “they” didn’t identify themselves – the cowards. What nicer sight than washing drying naturally in a country village?

Oh, and it has hit the national press, with comment from East Devon Alliance and Colyton resident Paul Arnott chipping in – obviously in his personal capacity, though Owl would vote for anyone who had hanging out washing in their manifesto!

“Claire Mountjoy received an anonymous note which claimed to be ‘on behalf of local businesses and your neighbourhood’, asking her not to hang her washing out the front of her house.

The note said: “We all try hard to keep our lovely town thriving and looking good.

“The visitors walk up Dolphin Street from the tram and your terrace is a prime location.

“While we understand you have a small house with no outside room… would you please consider using a tumble dryer or hanging the washing indoors.”

Claire posted the note to Facebook earlier this week, sparking uproar from outraged community members.

Residents have since replied by hanging their washing outside their homes, a move Claire’s children have coined the ‘laundry revolution’.

Claire said: “I think it is so lovely that I live in a community that’s so supportive of me and doing something that people have done for generations.

“The community response has been amazing – the rebellious nature of Colyton has come to the fore and the laundry revolution has begun!”

Claire, who is an education officer for Devon Wildlife Trust, said she was initially sad when she read the note, but decided she would not continue to be affected by it.

She added: “I want to say to whoever wrote the note that they really should be doing their washing in a more environmentally friendly way and putting it outside.

“It would have been better to have had a nice chat.”

More support has come flooding in from Claire, with Dunkeswell-based Skydive Buzz offering her a £100 voucher for a full-height skydive.

Ruth Fouracre, of Skydive Buzz, said: “We think it’s a great thing that Claire is standing up for, and it’s a bit of fun.

“I am originally from Colyton – the town has a brilliant community and the support is great!”

Tomorrow (Saturday), the Nunsford Nutters Carnival Club will stage a children’s pram and bed race in Colyton from 1pm.

A washing line, with pyjamas pegged to it, will also be strung up between the town hall and the Colcombe Castle pub in support of Claire.

Gail Jarman, one of the race organisers, said: “The reaction for Claire has been fantastic – the amount of people who have got behind it is absolutely brilliant.

“The note is ridiculous – none of us are supporting the person who wrote it.

“You have got to dry your washing somewhere.”

http://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/it-s-the-laundry-revolution-residents-support-colyton-mum-who-was-criticised-for-drying-washing-outside-1-5553455

CCG somewhat opaque on future of Honiton and Seaton hospital closures

Owl says: This is the sort of Press Release the CCG excels at. Telling us what the situation is at present but giving no guarantees that there will not be future cuts to current services (some of which, such as dermatology in Seaton, have already been closed.

Owl would also like to know how many of the extra 20,000 deaths noted in the first quarter of this year were in East Devon.

From EDA DCC Councillor Martin Shaw:

“NEW Devon CCG have issued the attached statement criticising ‘inaccurate information’ about Honiton and Seaton hospitals, after Dr Simon Kerr, Chair of the CCG’s Eastern Locality, was credibly reported as saying that these two hsopitals are ‘at risk’ in their Local Estates Strategy due this summer.

I welcome the CCG’s statement that it has no plans to close either hospital. However it has not denied that Dr Kerr said that they were at risk.

The CCG could end this controversy today if it gave an unequivocal assurance that both hospitals will continue for the foreseeable future with the present or enhanced levels of service. People in Honiton and Seaton were badly let down by the CCG over hospital beds and they won’t trust them now without a clear statement that our hospitals are safe in the coming Local Estates Strategy.”

The statement from the CCG reads:

“There have been reports today that the future of Honiton and Seaton Hospitals is under question.

NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group wishes to make clear that there are no plans to close Honiton and Seaton hospitals.

In March 2017, the Governing Body of NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning voted to implement a number of changes following a 13 week public consultation. This included the decision to close inpatient beds at both Honiton and Seaton hospitals.

Beds were closed in both hospitals in August 2017 as more care was introduced to look after people at home. Both hospitals are still open, thriving buildings providing more than 50 day services and clinics combined.”

Claire Wright responds on threat to close Honiton and Seaton hospital day services

“Seaton and Honiton Hospitals may be at risk, local GP and chair of the NEW Devon CCG’s Eastern Locality, Dr Simon Kerr reportedly revealed at a meeting with health campaigners last month.

Dr Kerr was apparently speaking of the long-awaited Estates Strategy, which will list all the assets held by the local NHS and what it plans to do with them.

NEW Devon CCG is in considerable financial difficulty. Devon is one of three most financially challenged health trusts in the country.

The background is that 12 community hospitals across Eastern Devon were acquired by the private company (wholly owned by the Secretary of State for Health) NHS Property Services, last year.

As yet, we haven’t heard about the fate of the remaining 10 community hospitals now in the ownership of NHS Property Services. This of course, includes our beloved Ottery Hospital, as well as Exmouth, Sidmouth, Whipton, Okehampton and Crediton.

Many of these hospitals, including Seaton, Honiton, Ottery St Mary and Okehampton and Whipton, have sadly now been stripped of their beds in cost cutting measures. But they still are home to a range of services and clinics that are very much needed locally.

Up until now, NHS England has been picking up the tab for the extortionate rents charged by NHS PS, of well over £3m a year, across the area.

A stupid stupid system, set up to fail. All over the country health trusts are being forced to sell off estate because it can’t afford the ridiculous rents charged by NHS PS for a building that used to be in NHS ownership.

Honiton Hospital has a treatment centre and is home to East Devon’s out of hours GP service.

The idea that the building could be lost and with it the treatment centre and out of hours service is totally ludicrous and appalling. The RD&E’s A&E department is full to capacity much of the time and staff are struggling to manage the volume of patients.

It means someone unwell living in the far east of the area – Axminster, for example, would have to travel around an hour to Exeter, to be seen by a GP if they were unwell out of working hours. It is quite unacceptable.

The amazing maternity unit which has been ‘temporarily’ closed for the best part of a year, was also based at Honiton Hospital.

There are so many cuts to the health service now it is difficult to keep up with them, let alone fight them.

Cllr Shaw has written to the CCG chair, Dr Tim Burke demanding assurances that the buildings remain open.

I have asked for an urgent item on the next Health and Adult Scrutiny Committee agenda, which is held on Thursday 7 June.

I will keep you posted.

Here’s Cllr Shaw’s blog – https://seatonmatters.org/2018/05/14/ccg-chair-says-seaton-and-honiton-hospitals-at-risk-of-closure-in-local-estates-strategy/

http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/seaton_and_honiton_hospitals_at_risk

Seaton and Honiton hospitals “at risk ” of full closure says CCG

“CCG chair says Seaton and Honiton hospitals ‘at risk’ of closure in Local Estates Strategy”

POSTED ON MAY 14, 2018 by Councillor Martin Shaw

It has been revealed that Dr Simon Kerr, Chair of NEW Devon CCG’s Eastern Locality, told a meeting with representatives of 38 Degrees on 5th April that Seaton and Honiton hospitals were ‘at risk’ in the CCG’s Local Estates Strategy due in July. His remarks were taken down by the 38 Degrees member who produced draft notes of the meeting, and have been confirmed by other participants, but have not yet been confirmed by the CCG.

Although the hospitals both lost their inpatient beds last summer, Seaton Hospital currently hosts over 50 outpatient services (and there are probably at least as many in Honiton). Both are vital community health resources, created with decades of financial and practical support from people all around the Seaton and Honiton areas.

As part of a move to promote ‘place-based care’, the CCG and RD&E are currently taking part in two ‘community health conversations’, Honiton’s Health Matters and Seaton and Area’s Health Matters, which local voluntary groups, town and parish councils etc. are involved in. However if place-based care means anything, it should mean that communities should keep their local hospitals as health hubs, with more rather than fewer services.

Together with Cllr Jack Rowland, who stood down as mayor of Seaton last week but remains the town council’s representative on the Health Matters organising group, have written to Dr Tim Burke, Chair of the CCG, to ask for an unequivocal assurance that the hospitals will remain open.

I am hoping to shortly announce a meeting of the hospital campaign group.”

https://seatonmatters.org/

EDDC street trading policy backfires

From “Positive Development for Everyone in Seaton” Facebook page:

“Seaton Markets in 2018 have been CANCELLED.

In view of the recent discussions and correspondence between the Market Organisers and Licensing Officers of East Devon District Council, both the Seaton Branch of the Royal British Legion and Seaton Lions Club have decided with regret, that they cannot proceed with organising Seaton Charity Street Markets in 2018.

These were going to take place on Bank Holiday Monday 7th May, Bank Holiday Monday 28th May and Sunday 15th July. Seaton Carnival Committee have yet to meet to discuss their proposed street market.

This of course will be a financial loss to the charities of between £400 and £800 per market. We have also had the expense of paying DCC Highways a road closure fee of £75 per market.

There will also be a financial loss to Seaton. We estimate that visitors on a market day spend at least £25,000 throughout the town. They patronise the pubs, cafes, coffee shops, ice cream sellers, fish and chip shops, souvenir shops, tramway and Jurassic Centre. This money will not now be spent locally to Seaton, perhaps not even in East Devon.

Although the Act of 1982 is still in force, EDDC interpretation of the requirements since October 2017 have changed. They have introduced a Street Trading Policy which prints out at 20 pages and covers everything possible, putting all of the responsibility onto the market organiser. The policy absolves EDDC of all responsibility. There is also a further 3 pages of another policy for the market organiser. Both of these policies hold the threat of prosecution if the organiser does not comply with the requirements.

The question is why would anyone want to organise a street market when they fully understand the responsibilities which are being passed onto them by EDDC.

EDDC have then combined this with a six page application form which has to be accompanied by an insurance policy, a letter giving permission to use this policy and a map which details exactly where every trader will go in the area being applied for 30 days BEFORE THE EVENT.

EDDC are also asking for proof of permission from the land owner. In the past was DCC Highways but now includes EDDC Street Scene.

To accompany this application EDDC are asking for each trader attending to complete a two page application form, submit photos of their stall and include insurance and hygiene certificate details. They have specified that the hygiene certificate should be level 3, this level applies to restaurants.

If you add all of this paperwork up, it now comes out at over 150 pieces of paperwork for an average street market. Last year we submitted a three page application form and insurance details, that was it.

We also now have to complete a six page application form from EDDC Street Scene which by the way doesn’t co ordinate with the Licensing application form. Street Scene are also asking for a £35.20 fee,so although EDDC Licensing are generously waiving the £20 license fee, it has been substantially increased in 2018 by another department.

The Seaton Charity Street Markets have been held four times a year for over 30 years. They are all organised by volunteers. EDDC increased regulation has turned the organising of a street market into a full time task fraught with extra responsibilities.

It feels as though EDDC have decided to shut down the street markets using over regulation to do so.”