North Devon MP Nick Harvey has challenged the Government on the closure of community hospital beds in North Devon.
Speaking in Parliament, Nick pointed to recent ‘black alerts’ across Devon hospitals which indicate when hospitals have run out of beds. Last week, North Devon District Hospital declared a ‘significant incident’ when it reached full capacity.
Given these warnings, the MP went on to highlight concerns at the proposed closure of beds at Ilfracombe’s Tyrrell Hospital and potential closures at South Molton Community Hospital, asking Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt whether more could be done to ensure health services in North Devon could cope with demand.
Nick said: “There pressure on North Devon District Hospital at the moment is clear. In light of these warnings, would it be wise to close community hospital beds in Ilfracombe? Not only would people have to travel unfeasibly large distances to access these services, but there is no guarantee the district hospital can cope with this extra demand.
“Getting bed capacity right is crucial – the local commissioning group can’t tinker with the system and hope for the best. We are currently waiting for a decision on the future of the beds, and I will soon be joining local campaigners to meet the CCG and impress upon them just how important our community hospital service is to local people.”
(from a press release)