Hip patient backs surgeon in calling for orthopaedic surgery changes to be halted

Fran Smith Picture: KEN SMITH

Fran Smith Picture: KEN SMITH - Credit: KEN SMITH

A hip-op patient is backing the views of her surgeon in calling for elective orthopaedic surgery to remain at Ipswich Hospital.

Fran Smith, from Aldeburgh, has needed orthopaedic surgery at Ipswich Hospital twice in the past four years, firstly after badly breaking her leg and then when she needed a hip placement.

On both occasions, surgery meant Mrs Smith had to stay in hospital for several days and she says visits from family and friends was important for her morale and ecovery.

However, she is concerned that this support would not have been available if she had to travel to Colchester to have surgery.

MORE: Hospital trust chief explains why Ipswich cannot maintain orthopaedic surgery

“Because I live in Aldeburgh my friends and family were able to visit me,” said Mrs Smith.

“I think that would have been very stressful if I wasn’t able to have visitors from our local area and church.

“I said to a friend who visited me, would you have visited me if I was in Colchester? She said no.”

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Mrs Smith was concerned when she heard the news of the planned changes for the hospital and particularly the concerns raised by surgeon Tim Brammer.

Mr Brammer and his team worked on Mrs Smith’s hip operation.

Last week Mr Brammer said the planned changes would be detrimental to the Suffolk patients and carers.

“I was shocked,” said Mrs Smith.

“They have an experienced team at Ipswich.”

So concerned was she by the plans for the centre, Mrs Smith went along to one of the many consultation events hosted by the trust for people to have their say on the plans.

“I went to one of the consultations in Aldeburgh,” said Mrs Smith.

“I was really surprised then. I just had a feeling they had made up their minds.

“It was not a consultation it was telling us what they were going to do.

“I just have a feeling that local people do not have much of a say.”

Despite reassurances that the planned investment would improve services for patients, Mrs Smith believes there must another way.

“As Mr Brammer said, it would be better to have two centres remain than one,” said Mrs Smith.

“They should invest in both centres that would bring down the waiting times.”

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