Unite Community members from across Devon will be starting a summer long campaign tomorrow (June 18), to highlight cuts to community hospital beds with a protest outside County Hall in Exeter.
Plans have been put forward to replace community hospital beds in Devon with a system of home care called “care closer to home”.
Concerns are mounting that the loss of the beds will leave elderly and vulnerable patients recovering from operations and other treatments isolated, as well as putting pressure on over stretched critical wards at district hospitals.
“Community hospital beds are a vital service that is under threat,” said Unite Community member James Craigie. “We live in a rural community with poor public transport links, where more and more of our services are disappearing.”
“We don’t believe that ‘care closer to home’ will be able to provide the level of care needed and could lead to elderly and vulnerable patients being isolated,” he added.
“We have already lost beds in Torrington and now rural communities will face losing another 34 beds, beds which will never be replaced, unless we challenge the decision.”
Unite Community members will be protesting outside County Hall in Exeter tomorrow from 9:45am and urging the public to sign a petition to save Devon’s community hospital beds.
The petition calls on Devon County Council to secure sufficient funding from central government for the NHS in Devon so that no community hospital beds or services need to be cut. The petition can be signed here.
Throughout the summer Unite Community members will be taking their campaign across the county to the affected hospitals on Tuesdays between 2pm and 6pm on the following dates: Bideford Hospital (June 23), Ilfracombe (June 30), Holsworthy (July 7), South Molton (July 14), with more dates to follow.