Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Centres of health excellence

Teignmouth and Dawlish will have much stronger health services that look after people for years to come – with community hospitals safeguarded in both towns.

This is the decision of South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body, which voted on Thursday to reshape services so that current and future generations will receive the best possible care.

They voted for Option 1 – of six being considered – to combine the two minor injuries units (MIU) at Teignmouth and Dawlish hospitals to create a top-class MIU for the locality at Dawlish, open 8am-8pm, with x-ray available seven days a week.

Option 1 also states that Teignmouth will have 12 specialist rehabilitation beds to complement the hospital’s gym and physio suite, along with outpatient clinics, day surgery and a community hub for support and information.

In addition, Dawlish will be a base for the Devon Doctors out-of-hours urgent care service, and the area’s community team will have 12 extra staff working to help keep people safe and independent in their own homes.

Governing Body members said Option 1 will ensure comprehensive, integrated and safe care for the people of Teignmouth, Dawlish and the surrounding areas, while keeping beds in both community hospitals.

The vote for Option 1 comes after nearly two years of public engagement and consultation, beginning in 2013.

In an online public consultation about the future of Teignmouth and Dawlish community services, 417 people voted in favour of Option 1, and 14 people voted for alternative options, out of 431 voters.

Dr David Greenwell, the Governing Body’s clinical lead for integration, said after the meeting: “When we engaged with the public on this issue, they said they really value their hospitals and want them to provide the best possible services.

“Option 1 will provide a big increase in the numbers of district nurses, who can look after a really broad range of people by supporting them in their own homes.

“Only a tiny percentage of our patients can be helped by having a hospital bed, but we think it important to keep these beds in both Dawlish and Teignmouth.

“We will of course continue to work with the public to develop these community services, making Dawlish a centre of excellence for urgent care, and Teignmouth a centre of excellence for planned care and rehabilitation.

“We have said from the beginning of the engagement process that leaving services as they are simply isn’t an option, because demand is increasing all the time, particularly among our growing numbers of older people.”

The 14-week consultation process, which began at the end of 2014, involved meetings with Leagues of Friends, town councils, interested groups and voluntary organisations, among others, as well as interaction through social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Public feedback was collated by Healthwatch Devon, an independent organisation, which then put together a report in late April.

The ideas, suggestions and alternative options within the report were evaluated by South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), responsible for the vast majority of healthcare in the area, and its Coastal locality, which coordinated the consultation, as well as Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust.

The CCG said changes to community services in and around Teignmouth and Dawlish hospitals will be completed next spring.