Ottery Hospital will not close, says Government
PUBLISHED: 11:16 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:58 31 October 2019
There are no plans to close Ottery St Mary Hospital, says the Government.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed the building will not close in a letter, dated October 31, to current East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire.
Mr Hancock wrote that he has been assured by the NHS's clinical commissioning group for the area, NEW Devon CCG, that there are 'no proposed reconfigurations which will impact Ottery St Mary Hospital'.
He encouraged the outgoing MP to discuss with the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust whether it would be appropriate for it to take ownership of the Ottery hospital.
He said local providers and commissioners are working with the Ottery St Mary Health and Wellbeing Community Group 'to develop a local plan based on health and wellbeing priorities and to consider the community infrastructure and estates required to deliver these'.
Sir Hugo Swire said: "It is quite clear from this that Ottery St Mary Hospital has a future. I am delighted that I have managed to secure this after several months of lobbying the Department for Health and Social Care.
"I hope that Claire Wright will not seek to stir up more anxiety about its future.
"For too long, the future of the hospital has been the subject of false rumours. I therefore hope that local constituents and the press alike will realise this is not the hot political news it is often made out to be.
"As Ottery St Mary Hospital transitions towards a health and wellbeing hub, we will have more services - mental health, dementia support, gym classes - to better serve the needs of local people.
"Across the country, we are building more community hospitals, not closing them. The PM is delivering an additional £33.9 billion for our NHS to make sure our frontline services have the funding they need."