HEALTH chiefs received a verbal mauling at an Ashburton Town Council meeting when they explained plans to shut down the ten-bed inpatients facility at the community hospital.

Dawn Butler, assistant director of operations for Torbay Care Trust, and her colleagues were in the firing line as councillors and the public vented their fury at the proposals for Ashburton and Buckfastleigh Community Hospital.

Mayor Cllr Elaine Baker, who complained at Tuesday night's packed meeting: 'This proposal is unwanted and presented in such a way as to cast our hospital as Dickensian and poorly served by trained staff, which is untrue.'