A full public consultation launches today (Tuesday 1 September) on the future shape of health and care services in the Teignmouth and Dawlish area.
More than 16,000 local people will have the full consultation document delivered to their door, with a pull out questionnaire so they can express their views.
With COVID-19 still circulating, the consultation is taking place in a different way, with live meetings being held online so that the risks of public gatherings are avoided.
People without the internet can ask for a telephone conversation with someone from the NHS headquarters in Devon.
Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is asking people to consider its proposal for moving services from Teignmouth Community Hospital, given that a new £8million Health and Wellbeing Centre is due to be built in the heart of Teignmouth.
The centre will bring GP services, community health and care and voluntary sector services together under one roof in the centre of town, meaning that care can be much more easily coordinated for each patient.
The CCG is proposing to move the most highly-used community clinics – podiatry, physiotherapy and audiology – from Teignmouth Community Hospital into the new centre, along with consultant-led ear nose and throat clinics. These make up 73 percent of all outpatient appointments at the hospital.
The CCG proposes that all other clinics and day-case procedures move from Teignmouth Community Hospital to Dawlish Community Hospital, four miles away.
And it proposes to reverse an earlier decision to provide 12 rehabilitation beds at Teignmouth Community Hospital, saying successful community services have made them unnecessary.
Dr Paul Johnson, clinical chair of Devon CCG, said: “The new Health and Wellbeing Centre would bring a first class, modern health facility to Teignmouth.
“The enhanced community team has done an excellent job in caring for people in their own homes or in care homes, looking after many more people than they would have been able to in 12 beds at Teignmouth Community Hospital.
“We believe our proposal is good, but we now want to hear from local people. For the next eight weeks we will be listening carefully to other ideas.”
Teignmouth’s biggest GP Practice, Channel View Medical Group, will move into the Health and Wellbeing Centre, saying it will help them attract new doctors and nurses – something that has recently been difficult.
Dr Carlie Karakusevic, a partner at Channel View, said: “The new centre would give us space for training doctors and other health and care staff and would be a real plus in attracting doctors to Teignmouth, as they wouldn’t have to shoulder responsibility for outdated premises that need high maintenance.
“We’re already working hard to coordinate care for each patient and their carer or carers, but being all together in the same modern building, working as one team, would make it easier to provide even more joined-up care.”
If the proposal is approved, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust says it would no longer need Teignmouth Community Hospital and would be likely to sell it so the proceeds could be reinvested in the local NHS.
The NHS is holding live meetings online and is making available simple instructions on how to join them.
These meetings are on:
– Friday, 11 September 2.30pm-4pm
– Thursday 17 September 10.30am-12noon
– Wednesday 23 September 6pm-7.30pm
– Tuesday 29 September 3pm-4.30pm
– Monday 5 October 11.30am-1pm
– Saturday 17 October 11am-12.30pm
People can go to the website www.devonccg.nhs.uk/teignmouth-and-dawlish for more information, to register as an interested stakeholder and receive regular updates, express an interest in attending an on-line meeting or to invite the CCG to meet remotely with their community group to discuss the proposals.
A series of supporting documents and information, including the main consultation document and survey form, is now also available to read and download.
The survey can also be completed online.
Local people can also call 0800 0520 029 (for free) on Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, with any queries or to ask to speak to someone from the CCG.
The phone line is being staffed by the independent health watchdog, Healthwatch in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, which is overseeing the consultation and will collate, analyse and report on the feedback received.
Thousands of other homes across South Devon and Torbay are receiving leaflets letting them know about the consultation.
Got a news story, blog or press release that you’d like to share or want to advertise with us? Contact us