HEALTHWATCH will publish its report on the recent 12-week consultation into the future of community health services in South Devon and Torbay, including Dartmouth and Kingswear Hospital, on Friday.
South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group said: ‘The report does not set out a “rescue plan”, as suggested in last week’s Chronicle front page story, and makes no recommendations. It summarises the comments and suggestions made by local people who participated in the consultation.
‘The CCG will, as promised throughout the consultation, review the public suggestions summarised by Healthwatch before a final decision is made on the future of the hospital and community services.
‘As with its previous consultation, the CCG includes representatives of organisations linked with the affected services within the review process so as to maximise local understanding and ensure transparency.’
Dr David Greenwell, a CCG clinical lead, said: ‘Last week’s front page story suggested that Healthwatch was putting forward a recommendation for saving the hospital which “health bosses” were considering but this was misleading.
‘Throughout the consultation, the CCG argued that closing four community hospitals, reducing the number of minor injury units and investing more in services designed to keep people out of hospital was the only viable way of meeting increasing demand for services.
‘But it also said it would consider any alternative proposals that met clinical need, was sustainable and affordable. The CCG review process will identify whether any of the public suggestions meet these requirements and should be considered further.’
Recommendations based on the consultation proposals and any viable alternatives arising from the review process will be published on January 20 and be considered by the CCG governing body at its meeting on January 27.
The recent Cottage Hospital Independently Promoted Survey in Dartmouth suggested local residents saw the creation of a new Health and Wellbeing Centre at River View as the best way of improving local healthcare. If the CCG decides to close the hospital, this idea will be pursued.
The Healthwatch report will be published by noon on Friday and will be available on the CCG website www.southdevonandtorbayccg.nhs.uk.