Four major issues to address says Sid Valley PPF

Sidmouth patient forum expresses “deep” concern over community hospital ownership transfer

The Patient Participation Forum of the Sid Valley GP Practice has expressed its “deep concern” at current discussions to transfer ownership and management of Devon’s community hospitals, “without adequate consultation or time for consideration of the views of the local population.

In a statement to the Sidmouth Herald, the Forum said it had four major issues over what is or is not happening:

1. Lack of information and consultation about current proposals for the future of community hospitals. “There is lack of information and consultation about current proposals for the future of the community hospitals,” says the Forum.

2. The timescale for completion of the transfer/sale. “Unrealistic, if any proposals are to be subject to local debate and consideration.” Also contrary to the philosophy of the White Paper, whose slogan is “No decision about me without me”.

3. Possible weakening of the close working relationship between GP practices and community hospitals, that could “lead to a poorer service to local populations.” Also contrary to the White Paper.

4. Concern that community hospitals may be owned and operated by an organisation not in touch with local views and needs, which would make decisions “contrary to the needs of local populations and the spirit of the Health White Paper.”

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Issuing the statement, James Lynch, on behalf of the PPF, said: “The Forum calls upon those involved in current discussions, including NHS Devon, to consult widely about this very sensitive issue and give the local population the opportunity to express their views.”

The Forum said community hospitals were a “legitimate source of local pride…not just some piece of real estate to be bartered off to the highest bidder.”