Hospitals' bed closure plans put on hold
Unions have welcomed a decision by a South West NHS trust to "pause" a planned shake-up of services at community hospitals in Devon.
Plans by Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust to close 20 beds at Bovey Tracey Hospital and Ashburton and Buckfastleigh Hospital were put on hold yesterday.
Under the proposals facilities would be relocated to Newton Abbot, which is between six and 11 miles away from the other hospitals, though a final decision about the in-patient services had not been made.
The trust said the halt came as a result of "listening to the opinions, ideas and concerns of those we have engaged with".
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It said it would provide "valuable time" to fully consider the feedback before taking "the next steps".
"We remain clear on our responsibilities to provide people with safe care of the highest quality; however, the Trust will not take a decision regarding the proposals for these communities at this stage," it added.
The Torbay and District Trades Council secretary Barrie Wood welcomed the news.
Paul Raybould, GMB Torbay branch secretary, said his members would be "delighted that the trust has listened to reason".
A planned board meeting on March 21 has been cancelled.