Ottery St Mary councillor expresses concern over new regime of health cuts
- Credit: Archant
Call for full public consultation on ‘significant changes’ being proposed
An Ottery representative has expressed concern about a new regime of proposed cuts and its possible implications for healthcare provision in the town.
County councillor Claire Wright challenged members of a government taskforce for details about a public consultation on the ‘significant changes’ being put forward.
She told the Herald the model of care provision being proposed only increases her concerns for the future of Ottery’s community-funded hospital.
Devon County Council’s (DCC) health and wellbeing scrutiny committee heard at a meeting on Monday that a new, sustainable system is needed to prevent a £389million deficit in local NHS services by 2020/21.
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The NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Laura Nicholas updated members on the progress of a success regime tasked with developing a new way of working.
Speaking at the meeting, she said: “We do not have a sustainable system without making some fundamental changes to the way we provide services. We all know the attachment people have to their local services and our commitment is to provide more care and not less care, but this needs to be sustainable.”
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A paper submitted by the CCG outlined options for making changes to some services, including stroke, paediatrics and maternity.
The paper states: “Transformation of provision will change significantly where health and care is delivered in the future.”
It sets out a case for more home-based systems of integrated care and says: “Bed-based activity will decrease and fewer beds will be needed in acute hospitals or community hospitals.”
Councillor Wright said: “I imagine when the document is published it will cause uproar across Devon.
“I imagine you will plan to keep cutting community hospitals across the county.
“How will you consult on the proposals?
“How do you plan to do this given the complexity and controversial nature of what you are doing?”
In response Angela Pedder - the former Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust chief executive appointed to lead the success regime - said there will be a public consultation, the first stage of which is likely to be in July.
Committee chairman Cllr Richard Westlake asked for full details on how the consultation is to be carried out and how the wider public will be involved.
The proposed changes are set to deliver around £70million of savings during 2016/17, with a £100m expected to be saved by March 2018.