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Feedback identifies ‘gaps’ in healthcare reforms

PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 July 2014

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Feedback from a public consultation has identified ‘gaps’ in a document outlining proposals for major changes to the way healthcare is provided in Devon.

The eight-week consultation on the NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) ‘strategic framework’ received more than 250 comments from members of the public and interested groups.

The document sets out a vision for the future of healthcare in the county in the face of shrinking budgets, and proposes that more people be treated in their own homes and places a greater emphasis on preventing illness in the first place.

The changes could potentially mean a reduction in the number of inpatient beds at Sidmouth and Ottery hospitals.

In responses to the CCG earlier this month, councillors in Sidmouth described the document as ‘wishy washy’ and civic leaders in Ottery expressed concern over a lack of information about how much the changes would save.

In light of the comments, healthcare chiefs have identified areas which were not fully addressed and ‘need attention’ – including details on provision for children and mental health services.

The responses also requested more detail on the costs of the proposed changes.

A summary of the responses was presented to the CCG’s governing body when it met last week.

Dr Tim Burke, chair of the CCG, said he wanted to make sure all views received to be taken into consideration before a decision was taken on the future of community services.

He said: “Understandably people have told us they are interested in knowing more about community services in their own local areas so we want to work closely with them to co-produce plans for future community services.

“In some areas of Devon work to change the way community services are run is already underway, with local communities leading the way in partnership with the NHS.

“An example is how health and social care hubs are being developed at the community hospitals in Budleigh Salterton and Moretonhampstead.”

The final ‘strategic framework’ will now be updated to take account of the feedback before being signed off by the governing body when it meets again in September.

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