Last ditch attempt to save hospital

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CAMPAIGNERS battling to save Teignmouth Hospital are launching a last-ditch attempt to get the decision to close the historic hospital from closure overturned.

Despite years of trying to save the hospital, the first to have been purpose-built for the NHS in 1954, an independent review panel concluded it should close with services moving to Dawlish Hospital and a new £8million well being health centre in Teignmouth town centre.

But Geralyn Arthurs, from Hands Off Our Hospital, believes all may not be lost.

Campaigners had been faced with paying thousands of pounds in a bid to go to a Judicial Review over the Independent Reconfiguration Panel’s final judgement that the closure proposed by the Clinical Commissioning Group should go ahead.

However, Geralyn has heard from the secretary of the IRP to say this may not be the end of the line.

Geralyn said she had been contacted by the IRP to say that although they do not have the statuary powers to ‘call-in’ this decision, the Secretary of State does have the power to ask them to re-exam the evidence under different instructions.

She said: ‘They have come up with a solution to help us avoid the costs of a judicial review by advising us on a way forward.

‘They are willing to re-exam the evidence but it has to be sent back to them.’

Geralyn has no contacted members of Teignbridge Council’s scrutiny committee, which has the necessary statutory powers, asking them to approve a referral to get the case ‘called-in’.

She wrote to members: ‘I am sure that you and your colleagues would be aware that we were very disappointed and deeply concerned with the decision to close Teignmouth Community Hospital.

‘As our MP Anne Marie Morris stated there is no evidence on the efficacy of home-based care compared with hospital care.

‘Therefore, the question I am putting to you and your colleagues is, would you be willing to ask the Secretary of State to seek further advice from the IRP as to whether the proposal to close Teignmouth Community Hospital is in the best medical interests of local residents?’

Geralyn said there was an argument that the proposal was ‘not in the best medical interests of local residents’.

She has further contacted Secretary of State for health Sajid David to see if he would be willing to go down this route.

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