Health chiefs in hospital pledge

HEALTH chiefs pledged yesterday that the future of two hospitals and staff jobs in Felixstowe would be safe during a shake-up of healthcare provision.They want to set up a development programme lasting three to five years to improve services in the town after consulting the public for their ideas.

HEALTH chiefs pledged yesterday that the future of two hospitals and staff jobs in Felixstowe would be safe during a shake-up of healthcare provision.

They want to set up a development programme lasting three to five years to improve services in the town after consulting the public for their ideas.

Ana Selby, chief executive of Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust(PCT), said: "The future of the two hospitals in Felixstowe - The Barlet and Felixstowe General - is safe, with no loss of beds for local people or jobs.

"We do need to review how best to make use of all the available health care resources and we want to know what local people think and would like to happen."


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Tony Robinson, PCT chairman, said: "We need to build on the good things that are already in place in the PCT, such as new local GP surgeries, and the minor injuries units, and new ways of working like the proposed Saxmundham one-stop shop and family centre, which is at the forefront of contemporary care and design. And delivery of more care closer to home such as chemotherapy in GP practices.

"Beyond this, all the NHS Trusts in East Suffolk are working together to develop a multi-million pound new treatment and critical care centre at Ipswich Hospital, which will bring faster treatment, diagnosis and care. We can expect that it will become more possible for people to be cared for at home or as day patients - and that people admitted to hospital will often need to spend less time there.

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"Although we care for more people every year, with a high and increasing proportion of older people, our hospitals are largely unchanged since they were built more than 80 years ago. We need to modernise them if we are to meet the higher standards expected in the NHS today, such as safer moving and handling, and more privacy and dignity."

Public discussions will be held at Hotel Elizabeth Orwell, Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, on May 17 from 7pm to 9pm and on May 25 from 10am until noon.

The public can also give their views by calling a special consultation response line on 01394 458898, or e-mail their views to: Listening@suffolkcoastal-pct.nhs.uk, or invite someone from the PCT to attend a meeting.

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