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Written by James Goddard   
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 23:14

The New Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) quite obviously doesn’t care about the people of Ottery St Mary, the surrounding villages or indeed those from the wider neighbouring areas

DecHospitalProtestThe CCG having steadfastly ignored the views and questions from the general public over the possible loss of Ottery St Mary’s hospital inpatient beds and the overnight disappearance of the Minor Injuries Unit. There are many who view the public consultation over this vital matter as having been hopelessly flawed. Despite the CCG extending this consultation it appears they still have absolutely no intention of listening.

With a glimmer of hope I learnt they were setting up a stakeholder reference group. They have invited county councillors and patient group representatives to join this stakeholder group and have even graciously allowed an extra member from the five affected towns to join. Having attended the first two meetings of this august group I have to say I am somewhat disappointed. The role of this new group is apparently to help inform and advise the CCG in its decision making process. Those invited on to the stakeholder reference group have asked some very thoughtful and probing questions. It is a shame, therefore, that the CCG, once again, seem incapable or unwilling to provide meaningful answers, authoritative facts and figures or even the slightest hint of a flexible attitude. One really has to ask in whose interests the CCG are actually acting. Who are they representing and who are they there to help?

Twice now we, as representatives of the Save Our Ottery Hospital (SOOH) campaign, have asked to be part of this group and twice we have been refused. Well never mind as we are allowed to attend but only if we sit quietly and listen and promise to be well behaved little children. Well personally I’m damned if I will. Instead I shall be a cantankerous old person and ask as many awkward questions as I possibly can. By the time this appears in the Gazette I will have attended the third of these stakeholder reference group meetings on Monday 23 February. I will have presented them with our petition with some 1900 signatures urging the CCG to ‘maintain the provision of hospital inpatient beds and the Minor Injuries Unit at Ottery St Mary Hospital’. I shall also have asked them to reflect upon the fact that they are ignoring and callously dismissing the very people they are supposed to be serving.

If you feel you would like to help save Ottery St Mary’s hospital beds please feel free to contact me through the Gazette.

James Goddard

Chairman – Save Our Ottery Hospital (SOOH)