Otter Garden Centres donates £10,000 to Honiton Hospital judicial review

Jacqui Taylor, managing director of Otter Garden Centres, has said the business wants to give the ca

Jacqui Taylor, managing director of Otter Garden Centres, has said the business wants to give the campaign a 'fighting chance.' - Credit: Archant

An Ottery business has donated £10,000 to give a campaign ‘a fighting chance’ to battle against the decision to lose beds at Honiton Hospital.

An Ottery business has donated £10,000 to give campaigners battling a decision to axe inpatient beds at Honiton Hospital ‘a fighting chance’.

Otter Garden Centres has backed Save our Hospital Services Honiton by contributing the five-figure sum towards the costs of a judicial review.

The campaign group has teamed up with Honiton League Friends to try to raise £75,000 and have launched a JustGiving page.

Jacqui Taylor, managing director of Otter Garden Centres, said Honiton’s hospital is important to, and valued by, the people of Ottery. She added:: “As a local family business, we are very much a part of the East Devon and wider community and we feel very strongly about this. We have donated £10,000 to give this campaign a fighting chance.

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“Everyone knows Honiton is an excellent hospital. This doesn’t just affect Honiton people – if you live in Ottery, Honiton is your nearest hospital now.

“As far as we can see there are no figures to substantiate the decision, and nothing to show how people will be looked after at home once the beds have gone.

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“It would be great to see everyone in the local community chip in to help challenge this decision. Even if it is just a pound or two, every contribution will help.”

Dr Tim Burke, chairman of NHS NEW Devon CCG, has previously explained the reduction in inpatient beds.

He said: “Too many people are in hospitals when they don’t need to be there. There is a growing body of evidence that the solution lies in developing community services outside hospital, which in turn reduces the numbers of people unnecessarily admitted to hospital. We need to be focussing more resources on providing better care for people away from hospitals.”

Heather Penwarden, chairman of Honiton Hospital’s League of Friends, said the groups were ‘over the moon’ and ‘grateful’ for the generous donation.

She said: “We have been speaking to them and like us they are concerned that the medical beds are going from Honiton Hospital as they did from Ottery Hospital. That’s why they are kindly supporting this.

“They became aware of us going for a judicial review and choosing this direction the courts and to do that requires a lot of money. “To be realistic we are looking at £75,000.”

“We have seen much support from our community saying ‘go for it’. All we are doing at this stage is trying to see if we can continue to do it. We believe in this cause, we believe in this model of care and we want to try to protect it.

“I believe it’s got everything that a community hospital should have. I remain completely bemused why they want to close our hospital beds.”

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