Share concern over hospital

SIR - After reading the article concerning the future of Sidmouth Hospital (September 4) I, too, share Dr Slot’s concern about the future ownership and management of the hospital.

I am sure most residents will feel the same and would be extremely anxious if a large organisation came in to run it that had no local knowledge of the needs of the local population.

It is essential that the Sidmouth GPs have all our support to be able to retain their right to care for patients in the hospital and to admit patients, as they deem necessary, based on clinical need.

I would hope that the discussions being held for the future management of Sidmouth Hospital will ensure that, though GPs might not want to run and manage the hospital themselves, their input and knowledge in patient care in our small town will be the basis of its management in the future.

GPs already have an enormous task taking over the budgets from PCTs as well as still providing normal GP services, so I can understand their concern about having to consider taking on running a hospital as well.

As many present employees in the PCT will be needing employment, could the GPs employ suitable people from the PCT who have the requisite skills to run and manage the hospital on their behalf?

Whatever the outcome, I hope we will retain our excellent community hospital, which has been supported by local people giving generous donations for projects over the years.

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Mrs Claire Crouch

12 Yardelands