Criteria for improved community health services and the closure of four community hospitals have been achieved.
South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is satisfied that new services are in place to support more people at home and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions.
The CCG has therefore agreed that Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust can:
- Close the in-patient beds in Ashburton, Dartmouth, Bovey Tracey (temporarily closed December 2015) and Paignton
- Move community clinics from Dartmouth Hospital to establish a temporary health and wellbeing centre in the Dartmouth clinic building, pending finalisation of permanent provision
- Move community clinics from Bovey Tracey Hospital to establish a permanent health and wellbeing centre on the site of Riverside and Tower House surgeries.
- Close Midvale Clinic in Paignton, with services moved to Paignton Hospital, creating a temporary health and wellbeing centre on site of Paignton Hospital.
- Establish a temporary health and wellbeing centre on the site of Ashburton and Buckfastleigh hospital whilst a full options appraisal is undertaken for a permanent centre.
Changes will take effect in the coming weeks, with the first steps being to stop new admissions to the hospitals where beds are being closed.
So no patients will be admitted to Ashburton from 8 March, to Dartmouth from 13 March and to Paignton from 3 April.
A CCG spokesman said: “No changes will be made to minor injuries units’ services until the parameters relating to these have been met.
“Implementation will be overseen by the CCG’s Community Services Transformation Group and supported by implementation groups in each town, which will include representative stakeholders so that local knowledge will influence service development.
“In the consultation documentation and in the public meeting presentations, we indicated that with the strengthening of community-based services, the 32 escalation beds opened at Torbay Hospital in recent years would no longer be needed.
“The CCG has been working with the Trust to identify how these beds can best be phased out so as to achieve the best patient flow through the hospital.
“As a result, the Trust has decided as a first step to close 14 beds in McCallum ward on 1 April, relocating the breast and gynaecology service, which is partially located in that ward elsewhere within the hospital.
“As changes are implemented the focus will be on ensuring the minimum disruption to patients and that patient safety remains paramount.”
The latest stakeholder briefing is here and all the information and documentation made available as part of the consultation is available here.