Devon

Torrington Hospital beds reopen for consultation

Torrington Hospital
Image caption The trust was due to close the beds as part of trial to see if people can be treated at home instead

Beds which were due to be closed at a Devon community hospital will be reopened while a new consultation is held into its future.

All 10 beds at Torrington Hospital were due to close from 1 September as part of a six-month pilot to see if people can be treated at home instead.

But following strong opposition the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust will keep the beds open.

A decision on the hospital's future is not expected until the new year.

In July, the trust and the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group announced they were looking at ways to make the "best use" of the hospital.

They said they were considering "a new model of care" that would see patients treated at home by community rehabilitation and nursing teams rather than at the hospital as in-patients.

Campaigners 'delighted'

Since then the hospital has been admitting fewer patients with a view to close the 10 beds at the start of this month.

The trust said it would have to ensure the necessary staff are back at the hospital before it can start filling the beds.

Campaign group, Save The Irreplaceable Torrington Community Hospital (STITCH), said it was "delighted" the trust had agreed to reopen the beds.

The trust said it had listened to the local community and was looking at ways to "enhance engagement" with local residents.

Public meetings will be held with the trust at The Plough Arts Centre in Torrington on 12 and 14 September.

Kate Lyons, the trust's director of operations, said: "We are committed to continuing the frank and open dialogue with the local community and actively encourage people to attend either a drop-in session or one of the upcoming public meetings.

"We want you to tell us your thoughts about how your local community hospital could be best used in the future."

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