MP raillies support for hospital

SOUTH Suffolk MP Tim Yeo has taken to the streets in a bid to save Sudbury's beleaguered hospital.He manned a stall in the town centre on Saturday to encourage people to make their views known about swingeing cuts proposed by Suffolk West Primary Care Trust in order to pay off its £20 million debts.

SOUTH Suffolk MP Tim Yeo has taken to the streets in a bid to save Sudbury's beleaguered hospital.

He manned a stall in the town centre on Saturday to encourage people to make their views known about swingeing cuts proposed by Suffolk West Primary Care Trust in order to pay off its £20 million debts.

The proposals will see all beds lost at Sudbury's Walnuttree Hospital, but protestors aiming to save the hospital have criticised the PCT's consultation documents, from which it hopes to gain public opinion, are confusing.

Mr Yeo said he had been helping to explain the document to members of the public and urging them to make their views known as strongly as possible.


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He said: “I think the document does not give a complete picture of the situation.

“We have been trying to put forward theses issues today as clearly as possible, and we have had a very good reception and it is evident that people do feel very strongly about this and I am sure they will want to make their feelings known to the PCT.”

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Since the proposed cuts were first revealed by the EADT earlier this year, the PCT has embarked upon a series of roadshows where members of the board have been on hand to answer questions from the public about the potential ramifications.

While the Sudbury roadshow event was attended by more than 100 people, a similar event in Newmarket, where hospital beds also face the axe, attracted nine people, only one more than the eight trust board members who turned up.

At the PCT's board meeting earlier this month it was revealed that only 152 written responses to the consultation document had been received and early indications were that 32.6% of respondents were n favour of the cuts, with 29.5% against and the remainder not expressing an opinion, although he meeting was told that it was too early to place much significance in these initial findings.

The consultation period had been due to end on October 31, but following a request from Suffolk County Council, the PCT has agreed to extend the period until December 12, with a final decision due to be made on the future of the region's health services at a meeting in January.

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