1. ITV Report

Devon community hospitals: 72 beds will be lost

Honiton Community Hospital. Photo: ITV News

Health authorities have confirmed that inpatient facilities at four community hospitals in Devon are to close.

A total of 72 beds will be lost at Honiton, Okehampton, Seaton and Exeter Whipton Hospitals. But Sidmouth Hospital is to get some extra bed provision.

Clinical commissioners say more care will be provided at home - preventing unnecessary hospital admissions.

Too many people are in hospitals when they don’t need to be there. Every day, up to 600 people are in hospitals (100 of these in community hospitals) who no longer have a medical 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.

We will look at how we will implement the changes as soon as possible. This will include an assurance process that will involve consultant geriatricians, GPs and community representatives. Inpatient beds will only close when the assurance process has been completed.

– Dr Tim Burke, chair of NHS NEW Devon CCG