In-patient beds suspension 'saddens' Moretonhampstead League of Friends
The League of Friends group for a Devon hospital has said it is "deeply disappointed and saddened" following the hospital's announcement to temporarily close its in-patient services.
All in-patient services at Moretonhampstead Community Hospital were suspended yesterday until the end of April, during which time a review will be carried out.
A Moretonhampstead Hospital League of Friends spokesman said: "[We are] deeply disappointed and saddened by the announcement of the 'temporary closure' of the in-patient beds at our much-loved community hospital.
"Our initial concern is, of course, for the present patients whose clinical outcomes may be affected by their being moved to hospitals at least 15 miles away from their homes, friends and families.
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"It is a well-documented fact that moving patients from hospital to hospital is very bad for their health and recovery prospects."
The decision was made over safety concerns at the hospital after a meeting of the North Devon NHS Trust board on January 22.
Following an inspection last year, concerns were raised regarding maintenance within the hospital.
However, the hospital admitted its actions to address them "have not been enough to overcome the difficulties we face in Moretonhampstead".
The League of Friends spokesman said: "For the future, our concern is that this temporary closure is not temporary at all and that, once closed, our valuable inpatient beds will be lost forever at some cost to the health and wellbeing of the wider community of north-east Dartmoor."
Extra beds will be opened at Okehampton Community Hospital in an effort to mitigate the impact of the closure.