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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 June 2018

Fight to save Devon hospital services

Totnes NHS demo, photo South Devon SOHS, photo South Devon SOHS

Totnes NHS demo, photo South Devon SOHS, photo South Devon SOHS   (Click to enlarge)

Alex Moore, Torbay and South Devon Socialist Party

Dartmouth Hospital was closed with 16 beds last year on a promise to provide some beds at Riverview Care Home. But it turns out Riverview is owned by a hotel group and they only built it so they could later apply for a 'change of use' and turn it into a hotel!

The deal with the local NHS clinical commission group (CCG) - if there ever really was one - collapsed and now there is no provision in the town. Over 500 turned up at a meeting called by the CCG to demand the hospital be reopened.

To add insult to injury the sale value of the hospital in this prime site is only 2 million. This is a riverside plot on the embankment with potential to cram in many properties and a few hundred yards along the embankment family homes go for more than a million each. People are furious and rightly so.

On 11 June 250 turned up to endorse setting up a 'health action' group. I gave my greetings from Save Our Hospital Services and was well received but unfortunately the meeting was dominated by speakers who wanted to "keep politics out of it" and think the way to win is not to ask for too much in the first place.

But then the meeting came alive when someone said: "Where I come from people stand up and fight. It was our hospital and we want it back - we want it back and made even better!" That is telling it as it is I thought, so at the end of the meeting I asked her and her friends to join me in the pub for a chat.

Lynn told me more about the background to the closure and her feelings about the meeting: "They shouldn't take the crumbs, they should take the cake, after all we made it and no one is entitled to take it away.

"This was all planned and now the plan is being implemented. The full responsibility falls on the Tory party who want to asset strip the NHS."

Now Lynn and her friends are coming along to our next Socialist Party public meeting.

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Fighting for rights for Windrush generation and other migrants

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Hull unions organise 'Engage for Change' festival

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Blairite cuts and restructures make social work dangerous

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