Proposals to modernise health and care services in the Teignmouth and Dawlish area have been approved.
At its meeting on 17 December 2020, the Governing Body of NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group approved a series of recommendations, which will see some services moved from Teignmouth Community Hospital to a new Health and Wellbeing Centre in the town centre and some services to Dawlish Community Hospital.
Members also approved a recommendation to continue with a model of community-based intermediate care and reverse a previous decision to establish 12 rehabilitation beds at Teignmouth Community Hospital.
During the Governing Body session, members considered a range of evidence, including a report by Healthwatch in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay on the outcomes of a formal public consultation on a proposal for the future delivery of services, which ran from 1 September to 26 October 2020.
The report provided an analysis of the responses to the consultation questionnaire, as well as highlighting common themes, comments and criticisms, and listing a range of alternative proposals and suggestions made by local people.
The report highlighted how 61% of respondents said that, all things considered, they supported the overall proposal to relocate services and reverse the previous decision on the 12 rehabilitation beds. 34% of respondents said they did not support the proposal.
Among the themes highlighted by Healthwatch were concerns about the availability of parking at the new Health and Wellbeing Centre and congestion in town.
Concerns were also raised about transport to Dawlish and at the potential loss of Teignmouth Community Hospital, which the consultation document made clear would be likely to be sold if the proposal were accepted, with the funds reinvested in the local NHS.
The final recommendations approved by the Governing Body were influenced by the outcomes of the public consultation as below:
Approve the move of the most frequently used community clinics from Teignmouth Community Hospital to the new Health and Wellbeing Centre
Approve the move of specialist outpatient clinics, except ear nose and throat clinics and specialist orthopaedic clinics, from Teignmouth Community Hospital to Dawlish Community Hospital, four miles away
Approve the move of day case procedures from Teignmouth Community Hospital to Dawlish Community Hospital
Continue with a model of community-based intermediate care, reversing the decision to establish 12 rehabilitation beds at Teignmouth Community Hospital
Approve the move of specialist ear, nose and throat clinics and specialist orthopaedic clinics to the Health and Wellbeing Centre
Request Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust consider in detail the suggestions put forward for additional services at the Health and Wellbeing Centre
Request Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust consider providing secondary office space at Dawlish Community Hospital for physiotherapists, occupational therapists and district nurses
Request Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust work with Teignbridge District Council to mitigate parking issues in Teignmouth Town centre and with the voluntary sector and bus operators to further support and enhance the development of community transport to mitigate transport issues when accessing services at Dawlish Community Hospital for staff and patients as far as possible
Dr Paul Johnson, clinical chair of Devon CCG, said: “Thank you to everyone who took part in the consultation we held in the autumn and to Healthwatch for compiling a comprehensive report.
“I am grateful to my Governing Body colleagues for carefully considering all the evidence and information presented to them as part of the decision-making process.
“This will help us build on the high quality joined-up health and care services in the Teignmouth and Dawlish area.”
The new £8million Health and Wellbeing Centre is to be built by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust in the heart of Teignmouth and is due to open in 2022.
It will house GPs from Teignmouth’s larger practice, Channel View Medical Group, the health and wellbeing team and Volunteering in Health.