Progress welcomed by Health Scrutiny Committee

Posted on 19th July, 2005

A summary of progress made by Devon Partnership NHS Trust was given a positive reception by members of Devon County Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee when it met recently. Chief Executive, Iain Tulley, presented an encouraging overview of progress with the county’s mental health and learning disability services over the past six months, updating members on developments since he last presented to them in January. Commenting on the meeting, Iain Tulley said:  “I believe the Trust has come a long way in the last six months and our staff should take a great deal of pride in some of the achievements we have made.  “I was pleased to be given the opportunity to share some of this news and heartened by the positive comments made by many of the Committee’s members.  In particular, I outlined progress with the Trust’s financial position; major construction and development projects in Barnstaple, Torbay and Dawlish; work we are undertaking to improve community-based services right across Devon and some key organisational changes that we are making to ensure we work more effectively and efficiently.
“I was equally keen, however, to sound a note of caution about the scale of the challenge that still faces us.  We made a significant improvement to our financial position last year, but we have a substantial amount of debt to repay within the next three years.  As well as containing our own costs, we must continue to work with our NHS and local authority partners to make the case for greater resources for mental health and learning disability services. “Recruitment of qualified staff into some key posts also remains an issue of concern - although we have had some notable success in recruiting around 50 new members of staff in the last year at Langdon Hospital in Dawlish. “The meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss some of the recent service changes that have caused concern and prompted criticism from local people, such as Hyde House in Barnstaple and the Briseham Unit in Brixham, and it was useful to be able to talk these through.” Commenting on the meeting, Stuart Barker, newly-appointed Chairman of Devon’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said:  “Mr Tulley outlined some positive developments in mental health services and this is encouraging.  We want to work more closely with all health Trusts to ensure that any significant changes to services are examined at a very early stage in their development. We need to ensure that the Trusts see overview and scrutiny as a critical friend in order to ensure that the interests of patients and future patients are fully considered and taken into account in any proposed changes.” The progress and developments outlined by Mr Tulley included:

  • Improvement to the financial position in 2004/5
  • Completion of Chichester House (a brand new £12m open
    pre-discharge unit at Langdon Hospital in Dawlish)
  • Proposed £12m modernisation of adult inpatient wards at Torbay Hospital
  • £3.6m development of adult inpatient wards at North Devon District Hospital
  • 8.6% increase in funding negotiated with Devon PCTs for 2005/6.

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