Worried about the future of Devon’s healthcare provision? Save Our Hospital Services public webinar Dec 10.

All photos courtesy of SOHS

Grassroots campaign group Save Our Hospital Services (SOHS) says Devon’s health services are under attack. They are holding a public meeting (via Zoom) on the threats to health Services in Devon.

The public are invited to learn more about the future of their health service in a Zoom meeting on 10 December organised by campaign group, Save Our Hospital Services,.

In a decade of swingeing cut-backs to NHS services, Devon has suffered massive loss of beds, wards and in-patient hospitals. This continues, even during the worst public health crisis for 100 years.

Since 2015, Devon has lost 500 hospital beds, 18 community hospitals, many clinics and facilities such as minor injury units that are depended on by rural residents. In that time our elderly population has grown by 8 per cent. Many of them are vulnerable, with complex needs.

Devon’s hospitals were in a permanent state of winter crisis even before the pandemic. All four of our major hospitals currently ‘require improvement’ in terms of safety; emergency care ‘requires improvement’ at three out of four.

Our privatised out-of-hours Devon Doctors service was called in by DCC’s Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee in November, after a CQC report found them inadequate. Many towns are without a local treatment centre or even a paramedic response car. Our privatised care system is on the point of collapse. Patients find it increasingly difficult to get from home to an appointment that may be on the other side of the county.

Yet in spring this year, NHS managers in Devon published plans to save MORE money: between £99m and £108m every year to 2023/4. Although the proposals were halted by the pandemic, SOHS, confirmed that :

”This is only a postponement, not a cancellation. The financial debate, crucially important for the future of healthcare provision in Devon demands immediate and urgent consideration”.

SOHS, which has campaigned against every cut in healthcare services for the people of Devon, also told us

 “We have just campaigned successfully for the closure of Teignmouth Community Hospital to be reviewed. We oppose NHS Devon’s ‘Long Term Plan’ to impose further health and care ‘savings’, which can only mean further cuts in service and more suffering, especially for people in isolated rural areas. The current public health crisis is a chance to rethink our priorities. We believe the health and wellbeing of the people of Devon should come before balancing a budget set by Westminster. We refuse to see rural areas pushed into a dependency on private healthcare and private nursing care, leaving many vulnerable people shut out from the help they need, and suffering unseen.”

To bring the issues to public attention and show what can be done, SOHS are holding a ‘virtual’ public meeting on 10 December 7.00-9.30pm. Anyone with an internet connection can join by Zoom.

SOHS says

” Do you want to ensure we continue to have a public service that everyone can rely on, within reach of your home, or do you want a privatised system where treatment will depend on where you live and what you can afford to pay?”  join us on the Zoom webinar. We have lined up some leading local and national speakers who really care about our NHS. Your questions and contributions will be welcomed; there will be lots of ideas on what you can do to help local communities to retain their services.”

Register with your name and e-mail HERE.

  Further details available via the Save Our Hospital Services Devon Facebook group