No job cuts in health revamp

STAFF were assured last nightthere would be no job losses during a major shake-up of health care in Felixstowe.Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust (PCT) said employees would be asked to attend workshops to give their input into the changes taking place at the Bartlet and the general hospital in the town.

STAFF were assured last nightthere would be no job losses during a major shake-up of health care in Felixstowe.

Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust (PCT) said employees would be asked to attend workshops to give their input into the changes taking place at the Bartlet and the general hospital in the town.

The trust's board approved plans to change the provision of care which will lead to a reduction in 30 beds although both sites will be kept and improved.

A wide-ranging review has taken place over six months with consultation with the public and professionals and now the PCT wants to implement the changes as soon as practically possible.


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Ana Selby, chief executive, told the board meeting at Kesgrave community centre: "We have some old buildings, we do have some difficulty in recruiting staff and some resource constraints.

"We want to provide the right care in the right place at the right time to those who need it."

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At the moment the general hospital has 28 beds for patients registered with a GP in Felixstowe and it is used for intermediate care and rehabilitation. The Bartlet has 56 beds and offers similar care. It is visited weekly by consultants from Ipswich Hospital.

In the future the general hospital's fabric will be modernised during a programme lasting two to four years. It will also have a wider range of services including more outpatient clinics, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, joint services with social care and diagnostics including x-ray and a Minor Injuries Unit. The minor injury service, currently catering for 15,000 people a year, will be revamped.

All the beds supervised by GPs and consultants will be provided at the Bartlet where in-patient facilities will be concentrated. Mrs Selby said: "We will keep all our existing staff but we will be able to reduce the level of agency cover. This will be achieved as a result of shorter length of stays through collaborative working with social care and Ipswich Hospital."

She said the trust was committed to reducing the amount of time patients spent in hospital and bring it down to the national average of 19 days. In April patients in the Bartlet stayed for 32 days and at the general hospital it was 49 days.

New houses are earmarked for Felixstowe and surrounding villages and the Trust will urge the district council to make developers pay for any necessary health infrastructure.

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