North Devon Heath Trust (NDHT) has considered the ‘temporary’ transfer of in-patient beds from Axminster Hospital to the community hospital at Seaton.
History teaches that a hospital which loses in-patient beds immediately becomes vulnerable to further ‘rationalisations’.
In 2012 Axminster Hospital had 18 beds, cut to just 10 beds by 2013.
Now they say it’s too small and costly to be viable.
Paradoxically whilst North Devon Health Trust is busily removing beds in its hospitals, other local health chiefs are busily buying more beds in the private sector to help ease winter pressures.
You couldn’t make it up.
Given the age profile and vulnerability of the population in the Lyme Regis area, and imminent council cuts to social care budgets, is this really the time to remove beds from a busy, well-used community hospital? I think not.
JULIE SHEPPARD Lyme Forward Lyme Regis Local Area Partnership