Seaton’s Liberal Democrat MP has presented a petition in Parliament today opposing plans to strip out a whole wing that was funded by the community from the local community hospital.
The petition forms part of a wider campaign that has received the support of more than 9,000 people from across the Axe Valley and calls for the affected wing to be turned over from the NHS to the local community, so it can be used to benefit local people.
Since the announcement that NHS Devon was looking to turn a wing of the facility over to NHS Property Services, which could see it demolished or sold off, Richard Foord has been leading a grassroots campaign opposing the plans.
He was the first to raise the issue in Parliament, quizzing both the Health Secretary and the Prime Minister over the plans, and has convened meetings with NHS Devon, local community groups and charities, and NHS Property Services.
By presenting the petition in Parliament, Mr Foord has formally placed the concerns of local people on the record with MPs and called on the Government to act.
Speaking after presenting his petition, Richard Foord MP said:
“Plans to allow a wrecking ball to be driven through a wing of Seaton hospital would be hugely damaging - not just for Seaton, but for everyone living in the Axe Valley who rely on this facility for treatment.
“With this petition, the local community has spoken. In just a few weeks, over 9,000 people got behind my grassroots campaign and demonstrated their support for our hospital. It’s now time for Ministers to wake up, listen, and take action.
“Seaton Hospital is owned by NHS Property Services, a government-owned company with a single shareholder - the Health Secretary. With a single stroke of his pen, he could turn this building over to the local community and ensure it is protected for local people's health.
“The fact they have so far been unwilling to do this shows the disregard with which they hold our corner of East Devon. People here won’t stand for it. We need more than warm words; we need action.
“There are so many possibilities for this wing. A new care hub would offer greater levels of tailored care for elderly residents. I will continue to demand that the future of both Seaton Hospital, and all our Community Hospitals, are protected.”