NHS managers responsible for Torbay and South Devon have been exploring putting in place a new model of care which would focus on the provision of community-based care. This would seek to bring together health care and social services and would deliver more of services nearer to where people live. In the case of Dartmouth, the initial proposal was to consolidate health care services ina new state-of-the-art building which would include the cottage hospital, clinic, surgery and a pharmacy all on one site at the top of town. This site would have easy access, good transport links and adequate car parking.
In December 2015 we were informed that as a result of further cuts in the local Torbay South Devon NHS budget this projectb could not go ahead. We are now waiting for those responsible to come up with an alternative plan which will incorporate the idea of greater community based care. Once these ideas have been thought through, they will be presented at a public meeting for comment and discussion. It is envisaged that this meeting will be held in the Spring, but no specific date has yet been fixed.
Meanwhile Dart Patients is urging the Dartmouth Medical Practice to explore moving to new modern premises at the top of town with good parking. It is generally recognised that the present Surgery is now old and not well suited to the expanding needs of modern primary health care. It lacks the space to accommodate an expanding staff to meet the growing health needs of its patient community. This could take the form of a new health clinic which would provide more services than are currentlyy available locally and would be supported by the Torbay and South Devon Clinical Commissioning Group.
There is considerable concern among Dartmouth area patients that budget pressures will eventually force the closure of both our cottage hospital and the local Minor Injuries Unit. While this may be inevitable, we would expect that the proposals to locate more health services within the community to be implemented to reduce the amount of time and expense incurred by patients in travelling to either Torbay or Dereford Hospitals or to the nearest MIU or cottage hospital. Planners seem to easily to forget that Dartmouth area patients are 'at the end of the road' and are consequently greatly disadvantaged compared to other communities closer to the main local health facilities.
Dartmouth had accepted the loss of its decrepit, no-longer-fit-for-purpose but revered old cottage hospital, and agreed the rationale of moving it up...