Plans to cut Devon community hospitals' inpatient beds

Medical consultation. Pic: Thinkstock Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption NHS managers said they would have to deal with increased demands on services

Plans for fewer inpatient beds in community hospitals in Devon have been put forward by local health bosses.

The proposals by the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG), also include changes to minor injury units.

Managers said the idea was to treat more people in their own homes.

The group, largely run by GPs, covers the entire county, except for Torbay and south Devon.

'Discussion process'

It said the proposed changes were not being made to save money in its £1.1bn annual budget, although it ended the last financial year with a £14.7m deficit.

Dr David Jenner from NEW Devon CCG said: "What we're really trying to do is look at options that don't require people to be in hospital where is safe and appropriate to do so.

"We won't be taking all the hospital beds away. We are looking at improving community services."

The group said it did not yet know how many beds might be removed and all plans would go through a "discussion process" with the public.

The CCG added it was looking at having to provide treatment for an estimated 22,000 people who would reach the age of 75 within the next seven years, increasing demand on current services.

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