Health bosses invited to discuss hospital future by Sidmouth Town Council

Sidmouth Town Crest

Sidmouth Town Crest - Credit: Archant

Health bosses will be invited by Sidmouth Town Council to discuss updates and plans for the future of the town’s hospital.

Councillor Louise Cole put a proposal forward, at the authority’s latest meeting on Monday (June 6), to invite hospital representatives and a member of the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to give updates on changes within the NHS.

She said: “There are all kinds of rumours going around and we, as a council, and the public need to be reassured with what is happening at the hospital and with other services in the town.”

Councillor Frances Newth added she had written to MP Hugo Swire, who had said Jeremy Hunt had clarified, in his letter, the takeover of 3,600 NHS facilities in April 2013 by the NHS Property Services did not mean those assets, such as community hospitals, would be moving out of the NHS.

And, the NHS Property Services would not be able to close any community hospitals, as that power only lay with the local commissioning groups, which, she said, in this area had been clearly ruled out.

Cllr Newth said: “We have got to be aware the CCG is in one hell of a mess - £40million in debt - and something has got to be done and all the community hospitals will have to find different ways of working to how they did in the past.

“With the new technology and things moving forward, things can’t carry on as they are, but, rest assured, the community hospitals in this area are all safe.”

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Councillor Matt Booth said it was a very important issue as the threat was not just to Sidmouth Victoria Hospital.

He added: “Ultimately, I think it is a shared thing with GPs, but specifically for Sidmouth, it is pressing and something we need to get on to.”