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Devon’s health service is aiming for financial balance by 2020 (from a projected £500m blackhole)

Monday, 26 February 2018 1 Comment by Claire

I was a bit surprised to see a statement in the latest newsletter of the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, relating to Devon’s collective health service aiming for financial balance in 2020.

At the last Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee meeting where councillors had a briefing on the Sustainable Transformation Plan (STP) - the programme of centralisation and cuts) there was little detail on how the local NHS organisations were going to tackle a projected £500m overspend by 2020,  Nor has there been any consultation, to my knowledge, except relating to the closure of community hospital beds in Eastern Devon, last year…..

The newsletter lists a stream of successes apparently achieved under the STP but no detail on how this vast sum of money is going to be clawed back.

In the meantime I have received an email from someone who is anxious that a family member may have to pay £3000 to be privately treated for varicose veins, as advised by a GP.

I have now asked for this specific issue to be included in March’s Health and Adult Scrutiny Committee’s agenda.


1. At 01:44 pm on 27th Feb Chris Wakefield wrote:

No surprise there’s no detail. News that your former community hospital is about to be flogged off to Bovis or Redrow will be toxic for the commissioners, whose reputation for shovelling taxpayers money into private pockets is already second to none. That’s the shortcut to solving a large part their £500m cuts programme, but they lack the balls to come clean about it. There will be mealy mouthed appeals to ‘value for money’, ‘efficient use of taxpayers money’ and all the usual tropes for undermining NHS resources.

If you scan NHS Property Services website you can see the list of ‘Property Disposals’ where hospitals are set up for sale to developers. In their ‘Latest News’ list we see one that is being sold off behind the back of the local community. The ‘Empty site in Yorkshire marketed to raise funds for reinvestment in the NHS’ was the subject of a long campaign to retain it, and NHS bosses reassured the local community in 2009 that Lambert Memorial Hospital was safe from closure.  In November last year we hear (from the Thirsk Weekly News) that ‘The former Lambert Memorial Hospital is to be sold for conversion to 10 flats. Well before a for-sale sign appeared on the building, commercial agents in Leeds were instructed and architects in Harrogate were instructed to prepare plans for the scheme. Those plans were apparently prepared as early as the start of October. The asking price is £400,000.’

Consultation? CCG would never attempt it again - they always get the wrong answer. Keep on their tail Claire, I wish DCC Tories would step up to this issue, and support your efforts, instead of mewling obsequies to the Party line. Unforgivable.

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