Campaigners in Sidmouth and Ottery call for NHS plans to be made public

Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Ref shs 3264-50-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton.

Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Ref shs 3264-50-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton. - Credit: Archant

‘National bid to fill ‘black holes’ in spending is driving local policies’

Campaigners are calling on NHS bosses to lift the veil of secrecy they say is currently shrouding decisions on the future of community hospitals.

Health representatives from Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary believe a national bid to fill ‘black holes’ in NHS spending is driving local policies and argue that it is vital plans are made public to allow meaningful discussion to take place. They have criticised The NHS Success Regime – tasked with drafting proposals for the future of healthcare provision in Devon – and expressed fear that decisions are being made behind closed doors. The NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said proposals should be published by October and reiterated plans to hold a public consultation, when ready.

Di Fuller, chairman of Sidmouth’s health and care forum, said: “Until now, these plans have been drawn up and discussed in secrecy and with no consultation at a local level. It is important that plans are made public and that discussion about our health service can take place locally in a meaningful way.”

Chairman of the Ottery health and care forum, Elli Pang, added it is ‘not fair’ to keep people in the dark about healthcare in their community.

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County councillor and hospital campaigner Claire Wright said: “We were told the Success Regime would release proposals for consultation at the beginning of the school summer holidays, now it will be some time in late summer, or early autumn. It all appears to be rather cloak and dagger and I think they should just get on with it.”

Angela Pedder, lead chief executive of Success Regime in Devon said: “The NHS in our area is overspending and this cannot go on. We identified the issues that lay behind this in the Case for Change, which was published in February 2016. The NHS system as a whole is now working together to improve care through more integrated and locally tailored services.”

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