Hospital campaigners take to the streets

HUNDREDS of protestors marched through Felixstowe in a bid to ensure the future of their community's hospitals at the weekend.Up to 600 residents waving placards and chanting "save our hospitals" marched through the town on Saturday morning, outraged at the threat to their hospitals as primary care trusts (PCTs) try to cut £18.

By John Howard

HUNDREDS of protestors marched through Felixstowe in a bid to ensure the future of their community's hospitals at the weekend.

Up to 600 residents waving placards and chanting "save our hospitals" marched through the town on Saturday morning, outraged at the threat to their hospitals as primary care trusts (PCTs) try to cut £18.4 million debts.

This may force the closure of hospitals in communities across the county as they have to save the money this financial year.


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In Felixstowe, the town's general hospital, as well as the Bartlet Hospital, are both under threat and could face either closure or a reduction in beds.

Ann Rodwell, a Felixstowe county councillor who is leading the way in trying to save the hospitals in the town, said: "The number of people turning out show the strength of feeling about this.

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"There were young and old alike taking part, people in mobility vehicles, people coming out of shops and the owners too joining in.

"People had placards, were shouting save our hospitals. I was really delighted so many people turned out, young and old.

"We are living in a town with the largest container port in Great Britain, and they use the minor accident and emergency department at Felixstowe's general hospital. And we have a population that is getting older and old people need more medical care.

"I just can not believe this is happening. If I had mislaid £18.4 million as a county councillor I would be sacked.

"People in Felixstowe do not know where to turn to get the Government listen and I just hope the Government will listen to us.

"You can't blame the PCTs if they do not have enough money to manage, they only do what the Government says.

"I would like to see the Government bail them out. I hope people will take notice. We might have further protests, take coaches up to Government."

The Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust stressed within the last few days that no decisions have yet been made on cuts.

Options are due to be announced shortly and people will then have 12 weeks to give their views.

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