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Media statement - community hospital beds consultation in East Devon

21 September 2016

Dr Bruce Hughes, Chair of Devon Local Medical Committee, which represents and supports GPs in the county, said: “We are aware of the public consultation around proposals to reduce the number of community hospital beds in East Devon.

“Devon LMC are concerned about any reduction in beds and the resulting welfare and practical implications for those who have to be cared for as inpatients in community hospitals further from home, in unfamiliar surroundings, away from their family and friends.

“We believe that the reduced bed capacity may mean more acutely unwell patients will be treated in the community and the medical cover will largely fall upon general practice to deliver – potentially overwhelming services which are already stretched due to high demand and a lack of investment.

“There needs to be greater recognition of the pressures faced by our GP practices and the impact that transforming the wider local healthcare system has on them – backed by resources.

“This will help to ensure that local general practice is sustainable in the future so patients receive treatment, care and support relevant to their needs.”