Last week Neil Parish MP was disappointed to learn that a decision had been made not to re-open beds at Axminster Community Hospital.
Neil has worked hard with a number of individuals and groups, including Cllr Mervyn Symes and the Axminster Hospital League of Friends (AHLF). He has also liaised with his parliamentary colleagues Mel Stride MP and the Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP to discuss health services in Devon and East Devon.
There has been a lot of public interest in Axminster Hospital, which is a community hospital and in February this year there was a mass public meeting at Axminster Guildhall. The justification for the closure of in-patient beds, is so that Northern Devon Healthcare Trust (NDHT) can open more beds in Seaton Hospital, which they claim will pool and save resources.
This is something that Neil virulently opposes and when speaking on the issue he said: “There is no clear reason why anyone would close beds in Axminster Hospital. I strongly believe that Royal Devon &Exeter (RD&E) Hospital should be the provider of community beds. It is just not realistic that people in Axminster should travel all the way to Seaton for a hospital bed. I am seeking an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP to discuss this matter further.”
Cllr Symes of the AHLF added: “I agree with Neil Parish MP, in that the RD&E would be a more suitable provider and hope that his discussions with the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP are fruitful in taking steps towards achieving this goal. I also hope that Neil is able to instigate further discussions with AHLF and the Medical Practice to be able to coordinate and take it to another level, as Axminster is a growing community with a number of housing projects rapidly increasing the town's population, not the mention the surrounding villages.”