PCT bosses defend H/Q move

HEALTH bosses last night defended a controversial move to new headquarters in Suffolk - and claimed it will save more than £50,000 a year.Suffolk Primary Care Trust staff moved in to their new home at Rushbrook House, Paper Mill Lane in Bramford yesterday.

HEALTH bosses last night defended a controversial move to new headquarters in Suffolk - and claimed it will save more than £50,000 a year.

Suffolk Primary Care Trust staff moved in to their new home at Rushbrook House, Paper Mill Lane in Bramford yesterday.

The move, which was originally set for March 5 but delayed due to technical problems, has attracted public criticism as it comes at a time when the region's health service battles huge debts.

The PCT is paying £301,072 rent to a private company, despite discussions to move onto the Ipswich Hospital site, which would have seen the rent ploughed back into the area's health services.


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That sum is £42,364 more than the total annual bill for facilities used by the county's previous four PCTs, which merged to form a Suffolk-wide authority in October last year.

But health chiefs yesterday stressed that the move will actually save £54,000 a year - the PCT will save money by not hiring meeting rooms, reducing travel time between sites and improved internal communications.

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Four support workers - costing £86,484 annually - are also no longer needed. Bosses said that a single site “is the most cost-effective solution for the PCT.”

They also claimed that, through a 20% saving on management cost, at least £2m annually will be transferred to frontline services, with a priority on investment in cancer and palliative care.

Defending the move, Carole Taylor-Brown, PCT chief executive, said: “With most staff working under one roof, rather than being spread around the county in various offices, we can work more effectively towards improving healthcare in Suffolk.

“Our staff have gone through a period of immense upheaval with the merger of the four PCTs into one. “Working from this office will mark the beginning of a more settled outlook for everyone, which is something to look forward to.”

Existing office furniture, equipment and IT hardware were moved into the new offices.

n Healthcare services in Suffolk have made “excellent progress” in the last year according to an independent assessment.

In an independent assessment, the East of England Strategic Health Authority has praised the work of Suffolk's PCT over the last 12 months.

Tony Robinson, chairman of Suffolk PCT said: “All the staff and the board have worked extremely hard to establish the new organisation and at the same time continue to deliver quality services and make changes to improve health and healthcare in Suffolk.

“The assessment shows this PCT is committed and ready to deliver a better NHS, bringing the best of modern healthcare to the people of Suffolk.”

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