PEOPLE in Holsworthy are seeking assurance over the future of out-of-hours healthcare, following the recent announcement by Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commiss­ioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) that it is looking to integrate the NHS 111 telephone and out-of-hours GP services, .

Conservative MP for Torridge and West Devon Geoffrey Cox recently met with Caroline Dawe, deputy chief officer at NEW Devon CCG, in order to put across these concerns and establish whether treatment centres in Holsworthy, Tavistock and Bideford would close.

During discussions Mr Cox focused on the NEW Devon CCG’s plan to integrate the two services from October 1.

He said: “Since these proposals were announced by the CCG there have been many reports of likely paucity of care in Torridge and West Devon resulting from them.

“It is therefore reassuring to note that the budget is remaining at its current level, along with the standard of care provided, with more people being seen in their own homes under the new plans.”

The MP was assured that there would be no decrease in cover following the changes, which are being made because of issues with the previous 111 service provider.

It was confirmed that there would be no reduction in the budget available to these services and new providers would be closely monitored to ensure effectiveness.

Mr Cox said: “It is important to note that the treatment centres were not previously accessible to the public, so patients will continue to access care in the same way, and it is hoped that the increase focus on the frontline 111 service will mean that patients are treated as efficiently and effectively as possible.”