Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust: Ongoing pressures update

The NHS is experiencing huge challenges nationally and as a Trust we continue to experience severe pressure across our acute and community services. It’s important to us that we are honest with our community about the ongoing challenges we are facing and acknowledge that the impact of these challenges are being felt by you and your friends and family.

There are currently significant bed pressures at North Devon District Hospital and South Molton Community Hospital. This is due to challenges with discharging patients from hospital, particularly those with ongoing care needs, alongside sustained high levels of urgent care demand.

Staffing shortages across the whole health and social care system and the impact of COVID-19 are also contributing towards these pressures.

We want you to know that we are creating as much capacity as possible by using our resources creatively, but we have had to make some tough decisions about what we can and cannot do right now. We are:

  • Doing everything we can to identify, plan and facilitate discharge for patients who are medically fit to be discharged
  • Standing down non-urgent surgery and services where this releases bed and/or staff capacity to support urgent care
  • Reviewing the minimum requirements to support urgent and emergency care, so that we can stand down any further activity as necessary without delay
  • Asking our staff to pick up extra shifts where they can
  • Working with other acute and community trusts across Devon – we are all facing severe challenges and are addressing these together
  • Working with primary care providers (GPs) to support decision making around whether patients need to be admitted to hospital

We know that everyone in the health and social care system is working in extremely tough conditions and we want to thank them for working alongside us to help deliver safe and compassionate care.

While things remain challenging we ask that you do what you can to help your local NHS, including:

  • Choosing the right healthcare services for your needs. Dialling 999 or going to ED if you don’t need to could delay treatment for someone who is seriously ill. If you need urgent care please visit 111 –
  • Supporting any loved ones you have at the hospital to get ready to go home as soon as they are able to leave hospital
  • Getting your flu and COVID-19 vaccination/booster
  • Download the NHS app and you can check your symptoms, book GP appointments and order repeat prescriptions. To find out more visit

Thank you, as ever, for your continued support.

Posted in News.

Last updated: January 17, 2022