Campaigners call for action on hospital

CALLS have been made for long-promised services to finally be provided at a town's new hospital.

Elliot Furniss

CALLS have been made for long-promised services to finally be provided at a town's new hospital.

Harwich's Fryatt Hospital remains unfinished and only partly operational despite being opened three years ago to replace the outdated hospital on the same site.

A series of pledges have since been made by North East Essex Primary Care Trust, which runs the site, that the hospital's services would be up and running.

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Now it has acknowledged that some services have been delayed and a spokesman has confirmed that work will soon start to replace defective flooring in a “small part” of the building.

Mayor Dave Rutson, a member of the Community Representatives Party, said people in Harwich were “disgusted” by the condition of the site and the lack of progress being made.

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He said: “The disappointing thing is that the original hospital was given to the people by Captain Fryatt. He had it built and donated it to the town.

“But we're looking at paying £1.2million a year for the next 25 years for something that we had already got and is not even as good - there's got to be something wrong there.

“It's disgraceful - it's not been maintained at all. The weeds outside are four or five feet high - the general appearance is a complete disgrace.”

Members of the Community Representatives Party are now organising a petition in order to send out a firm message that the people of Harwich want action and to see the site fully operational.

A spokesman for the PCT said it recognised that while most of the planned services had been running since the hospital opened, some, including the GP practice, had been delayed.

She said: “We are very keen to make sure the hospital is fully operational and will be working towards this as soon as possible.

“Work on replacing a small proportion hospital's flooring is due to begin on 1 September and should take around 12 weeks.”

She said patients would still be able to access the vast majority of services offered at the hospital throughout the project, including ultrasound scans, x-rays and diagnostics.

She added: “Only a minimal number of patients will need to go elsewhere, such as those on the Trinity Ward and expectant mothers due to give birth while the maternity ward is shut.

“We would like to apologise in advance to those patients affected and thank them for their patience while we carry out these essential works.”

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