Health campaigners say a decision to axe beds at two community hospitals in North Devon will cost lives.Read the full story ›
Protestors calling themselves 'A March to Save Hospital Beds' have rallied outside Bideford hospital this lunchtime within minutes of the news that the impatient ward there is to shut.
It's after a unanimous decision by board members of Northern Devon Healthcare Trust to close hospital wards in Bideford and Ilfracombe.
There's been a unanimous decision by board members of Northern Devon Healthcare Trust to close hospital wards in Bideford and Ilfracombe.
They will keep open Holsworthy and South Molton.
Too much too soon?
The New Devon Clinical Commissioning Group which funds NHS services has told Northern Devon Healthcare Trust that it doesn't support its decision to close any wards or units as the process is happening too quickly.
Devon County Council's Health and Wellbeing scrutiny committee also voted 4-3 for a halt in the consultation process. But the decision on closure remains with the Healthcare Trust.
Not enough beds?
Senior clinicians have also told managers that they have extreme anxiety about the closure of beds.
Doctors and consultants are worried that there are not enough beds at North Devon District Hospital and the community wards have been seen as a 'safety blanket'.
But health bosses believe that they will have strategies in place this winter to cope and that wards at Holsworthy and South Molton can increase beds at short notice if needed due to any crisis.
Health managers at Northern Devon Healthcare Trust are meeting now to decide if wards at some community hospitals should close. The Trust had suggested providing a new community ward at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple instead.
This morning the Trust board is expected to vote on closing wards in Bideford and Ilfracombe. The hospitals would all remain open for other services. A decision is anticipated by 11.30am.
Which wards were considered?
- South Molton
The public consultation found that people preferred the option of keeping open wards at Holsworthy and South Molton. More than half of all respondents to the consultation came from the Holsworthy area.
- 'Leave community hospitals alone': Carer's fears over NHS proposals
The iconic yellow helicopter of RAF Search and Rescue Squadron 22 has flown for the final time at Chivenor, North Devon.Read the full story ›
There have been emotional scenes in North Devon today, as hundreds of people waved goodbye to the RAF.Read the full story ›
Our reporter Seth Conway is spending the day with Search and Rescue helicopters in Chivenor and has some breaking news.
The RAF Sea Kings from twenty two Squadron were due to stop running today but ITV has learned they'll continue to operate for another week before the service is handed over to a private company.
It's a slight reprieve but it's still a sad moment for the community.
More on ITV West Country tonight at 6pm.
Statement Chivenor will continue to provide full helicopter search and rescue capability for a further period of around one week at the request of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency who asked for this continuance.
The option to provide a continuance of service has been part of the UK SAR Transition Planning programme for all of the 6 RAF SAR flights in the UK and this request will neither affect the level of SAR service across the region served by Chivenor, nor in any impede the future careers of RAF personnel serving at Chivenor.
Amateur golfer Jimmy Mullen has received a hero's welcome back at his club of Royal North Devon.
Jimmy helped Great Britain and Ireland to a win over USA in the prestigious Walker cup at the weekend. He's now planning to join the professional golf tour.
A woman from Devon is in the Guinness Book of World Records with her collection of 2,000 garden gnomes.
They're gnomes-of-action - motorbiking, helicopter-flying, tree-climbing - and Ann Atkin from Bradworthy says people come from all over the world to see them.
Today our own Kate Haskell was one of them - and tried to keep her gnome puns under control.
And if you want to see the forecast Kate mentions just take a look at our weather updates page.