Delight as services restored at hospital

A NEW �1.5million plan to refurbish a community hospital been announced by health bosses.

Despite plans originally set out in 2007 changing in the face of the economic climate, NHS Suffolk has vowed the same high-quality services will still be delivered at the newly-refurbished Hartismere Hospital in Eye.

From local health care team clinicians to midwives and children’s specialists, residents in Eye will see a return of many of the services cut when hospital was downgraded three years ago.

Around 10 beds will continue to be commissioned at Paddock House, a residential home for the elderly, allowing stepping-stone rehabilitation for people before returning home from hospitals such as Ipswich and West Suffolk.

Campaigner and MP Dr Dan Poulter said he was “delighted” NHS Suffolk has finally “seen sense” and bowed to the pressure from local people to reinvest in services at the hospital .

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Funding for the 18-month project is set to come from capital receipts generated from the sale of surplus land around the hospital on the five-acre plot.

MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Dr Poulter said the closure of hospital beds three years ago was the “loss of a fantastic community facility” for a rural area.

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He said: “I am delighted the PCT has finally seen sense and re-opened much of what was in the old hospital.”

Dr Poulter said many of the former facilities would be improved and he believes there is scope in the future for minor operations at the hospital.

“I have really taken on board the importance of community hospitals and the PCT has bowed to the pressure brought to them over the last few weeks. We have got back something really vital for the community,” he added.

Mark Marshall, NHS Suffolk’s head of corporate development and infrastructure, said: “Continuing with our plans – albeit in a different and slightly more modest way – means that we can still provide improved care environments for the staff and visitors to the hospital.”

Carole Taylor-Brown, NHS Suffolk’s chief executive, said: “People in Eye and its surrounding areas have done so much to make this happen.

“It was an important project for me, and I am exceptionally proud to see this project through to this key, final step.”

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