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Teignmouth engagement: 30 April to 8 June 2018

Why can’t the hospital be used as the base for bringing services together?

The current hospital was opened in 1954. It has served the local community over the past 64 years and today houses the multi-disciplinary health and wellbeing team, some outpatient clinics including physiotherapy and a theatre for day surgery patients.

Since the 1950s, the way health services are delivered has changed beyond recognition as new treatments, equipment and technologies have transformed care. The coming decades are likely to see care delivery continue to change, possibly at an even greater rate.

However successful the hospital has been at looking after patients in the past, it cannot be economically reconfigured to provide the modern facilities and services required today and in the future. It would also be unlikely that we could get the range of teams located close to one another to maximise effective working. The space and facilities that a new Health and Wellbeing Centre involving GPs, Health and Wellbeing Team and voluntary sector need looks substantially different from that provided by a hospital built in the 1950s. The existing building does not lend itself to the major structural changes required to deliver a modern facility.

And even if it could be reconfigured, it isn’t big enough to provide the space that the three GP practices need, meaning that services in the town couldn’t be brought together under the one roof.

The most recent Hospital conditions survey shows that the building is nearing the end of its effective life with wear and tear taking its toll, mechanical and electrical infrastructure approaching the end of its economic life, drainage problems and DDA (disability discrimination) issues.

That is why the opportunity which now exists to explore the co-location of the services that most local people use to a new building, also accommodating GPs, a pharmacy and some voluntary sector organisations, is being taken.

Not only would the building be designed specifically for the services we need for the future but it is also likely to be cheaper to run than the current hospital, freeing up more resources for actual patient care rather than maintaining bricks and mortar.

If the idea of bringing services together in a new building is supported, then the hospital would close once it was constructed and open which is likely to be in 2020.​​​​