Denis Keane, of Lindridge Road, Bishopsteignton, a GP in Teignmouth, writes:

Now that the carefully choreographed listening charade is over – when it was obvious to all that the CCG had already made its mind up – it has after a suitable interval announced its intention to go ahead with the dismantling of Teignmouth hospital, while assuring the public that it has no intention of closing it down.

For the past 12 years the CCG and its predecessor the PCG have been telling us on the one hand that Teignmouth hospital 'is safe with us', while on the other they have steadily and cynically choked the life out of it reducing the medical beds from 34 to 12 and restricting the miu services so targets could not be met.

It has abrogated its responsibility for essential repairs to the hospital, forcing the league of friends to pay for repairs to the lift to ensure the hospital could continue functioning, which was never what the league was set up to do.

All of which means that as an organisation it has lost all credibility and trust.

At a time when there is a dire shortage of medical beds in the area such a policy simply beggars belief – one sees this reflected in the fact that elderly single patients well into their eighties are sent home from the district general hospital by taxi to an empty house at midnight to save an admission.

One wonders how those people who support the proposals and who purport to look after Teignmouth patients will be able to explain to those patients why they removed all the medical beds from the hospital, thus preventing them ever being treated there; took away all the trained nursing staff; closed down the minor injury unit forcing them to travel elsewhere; removed the x-ray facilities which are an essential part of everyday medical care; and adversely affected the relationship between Teignmouth and Dawlish on all levels for the foreseeable future while in their place offering a bit of physio (already available) and – let's not forget it – a cup of coffee.

Such proposals are an affront to Teignmouth patients and those that really care for them.

It is difficult to find any rational explanation for the proposed changes other than to protect the PFI hospitals in Newton and Dawlish. No doubt their shareholders will welcome the changes and the financial maintenance of those hospitals will continue to undermine the provision of medical services in the area for the future.

One wonders where this fits in with the philosophy of the nhs to care for all its citizens equally.

It is obvious that Teignmouth is being blatantly stripped of its assets and seriously downgraded so it is no longer a hospital to serve the needs of others and, in the process, its inevitable closure is brought nearer, despite the rhetoric from the CCG.