STRUCTURE: Northern Devon Healthcare Trust is planning to close 10 community hospital beds as part of a pilot designed to deliver more care closer to home.

From 1 September the 10 beds at Torrington Hospital will be closed and any patients requiring admission will go to Bideford or Holsworthy hospitals.

Ahead of that the trust has already expanded its Torrington and Holsworthy therapy team from seven full time equivalent members of staff to 21 and is in the process of increasing the hours district nurses are available from 9am to 5pm to 8am until 8pm.

Northern Devon is an integrated acute and community services provider has 300 beds spread across 17 community hospitals in the north, east and west of Devon.

It has set up a task group involving members of the community to monitor the Transforming Torrington Together pilot, which it is hoped could provide a model for changes elsewhere in the county.

The project is being supported by funding from North, East and West Devon Clinical Commissioning Group and Devon County Council.

Chris Bowman, vice chair of the northern locality of the NEW Devon CCG, said: “As a local GP and a commissioner of services, I believe this is an exciting test of change for Torrington to show the rest of Devon how new services can be provided which enhance the health and well-being of local communities.”