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Community engagement on Tyrrell beds future critical - Harvey

March 20, 2015 9:59 AM

Nick Harvey MP has met local healthcare commissioners and Ilfracombe Tyrrell Hospital campaigners to discuss the future of inpatient beds at the North Devon hospital.

At a meeting today organised by the MP, representatives from the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) explained that a decision on the long-term viability of the beds would be due by autumn this year. Since 1 November, inpatient beds at the Tyrrell have been closed due to staffing issues and the CCG is currently reviewing community services.

The Tyrrell League of Friends group, led by Chairman Gloria Satchwell, last year presented a petition to No 10 Downing Street urging the Government to keep the beds open.

Commenting, Nick Harvey said:

"Today's meeting was a useful opportunity for the CCG to give an update on the process and outline its timeframe for making a decision. A meeting in May will attempt to determine the number of community beds needed across the wider North Devon and Torridge area. A three month consultation with the public will then follow to decide where these beds should be, and I would expect a final say from the CCG on the matter towards the end of this year.

"The critical period for communities and individuals to have their say will be in June and I would urge anyone concerned about the future of Ilfracombe Tyrrell hospital to get involved in the consultation process then. In the meantime I also urge the CCG to discuss Ilfracombe's needs with all other providers and stakeholders to continue seeing whether a novel solution unique to Ilfracombe can be found to ensure that bed capacity can remain.

"I am concerned that people will have to travel unfeasibly large distances to access intermediate care if these beds do not reopen, putting further pressure on other NHS services in North Devon. I will continue to monitor the situation and encourage as many people as possible to engage with the decision making process."