July 2015

"Choose well this summer", say local doctors

27 July 2015

With the summer holidays underway, doctors in Devon are reminding people to choose the right NHS service for their needs.

The summer can be a busy time for the local NHS, with children off school and people visiting Devon from all over the UK.
Last year, there were more than one and a half million trips to Devon from elsewhere in the UK over the summer holidays. It is estimated that the population of Devon and Cornwall swells by between 18 and 21 percent over the summer months- and all of this means local NHS services can become overwhelmed.
To help ease pressure on local NHS services, doctors are asking people to only visit A&E in an emergency, or if they have an immediate and serious problem that cannot be dealt with by another NHS service.
Dr Paul Hardy, a GP from Plymouth and chair of the Western locality of NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We want to help people to stay healthy so they can enjoy their summer holidays.
“Many people think A&E is the most convenient place to go if they’ve injured themselves, but there are usually services that could treat you more quickly closer to home.
“Minor injuries units and walk-in centres can treat cuts, sprains and burns and could save you from waiting in busy A&E departments.”
Other options include local pharmacies, where people can get confidential expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, and self-care, which is the best choice for treating very minor injuries and illnesses.
As well as making sure they know where their local NHS services are, doctors are advising people to stock up on plasters, painkillers, antiseptic cream and more.

Doctors agree to improve resilience of Eastern Devon’s community hospitals

16 July 2015

Doctors have today agreed to consolidate overnight inpatient beds at Eastern Devon’s community hospitals to secure nursing care close to people’s homes.
Community hospital beds in Eastern Devon will be consolidated as a platform for further review and reform of community services, aiming to treat more people in their own home where it is safe and appropriate to do so.
The decision was taken at NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (NEW Devon CCG) Governing Body meeting today.
It will mean the number of community hospital inpatient units in Eastern Devon will reduce from 10 to seven. Community hospitals at Axminster, Crediton and Ottery St Mary will no longer have overnight inpatient beds, although Ottery St Mary Hospital will have 15 overnight stroke rehabilitation beds for now.
None of the community hospitals will close as a result of the decision. Health and social care hubs with a range of outpatient services, day surgery and other health and social care services will be developed at hospitals without inpatient beds.
Dr David Jenner, a GP from Cullompton and chair of the Eastern Locality of NHS NEW Devon CCG, said:
“This will improve the resilience of care at our community hospitals in the face of financial and workforce challenges.
“We are looking to continually improve services to support people in their local communities whether they are cared for at home or in hospital and this is one step forward on that journey.
“We want to thank all the local people and organisations who have been involved throughout the development of the plans over the last couple of years. We held over 30 public meetings or drop-in sessions and have taken their comments into consideration when making our decision today.
“Of course we understand that some people will always want to have community beds in their own area and this decision may disappoint them but making sure everyone has the same level of access to services is very important.
“Over the last few years the hospital provider Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has had to temporarily close some community hospital inpatient units due to staffing issues. Consolidating from 10 to seven units means we will have much more robust staffing at our hospitals in the future.”
The process in which we developed the changes agreed today will now be considered at the Devon Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee meeting on 14 September 2015.
The timeline for implementing the changes will depend on the outcomes and feedback from this Scrutiny meeting.
A summary of the changes agreed today is below:
Hospital Beds pre-decision Beds post-decision Comments
Exeter Community Hospital 20 medical 20 medical No change
Exmouth 22 medical + 8 stroke 16 medical 8 stroke beds to Ottery St Mary Hospital
Crediton 3 medical + 7 stroke None 7 stroke beds to Ottery St Mary Hospital. Hub also under development
Okehampton 16 medical 16 medical No change
Tiverton 32 medical 32 medical No change
Axminster 10 medical None
Seaton 10 medical 24 medical
Sidmouth 18 medical 24 medical
Honiton 18 medical 16 medical
Ottery St Mary 10 medical + 0 stroke 0 Medical + 15 stroke
Moretonhampstead 0 medical 0 medical Hub under development
Budleigh Salterton 0 medical 0 medical Hub under development

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