Tom Hunt calls for review of orthopaedic surgery plans in Commons debate

PUBLISHED: 20:30 07 July 2020 | UPDATED: 20:30 07 July 2020

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said he remained concerned about the plans Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said he remained concerned about the plans Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS

House of Commons

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has called for controversial plans to build a new orthopaedic centre in Colchester to be reviewed during a debate in parliament.

The Suffolk MP spoke out against the proposals today as he led an adjournment debate on the matter.

Health bosses have recently recommended that changes to orthopaedic surgery at Ipswich Hospital be given the go-ahead at a meeting on July 14, despite local opposition.

During the debate Mr Hunt raised a number of concerns including transport arrangements for patients traveling from Ipswich.

He said: “The question is why should Ipswich Hospital be stripped of its first class elective orthopaedic services for it to be placed in such an unusual position?

“These plans are incredibly unpopular in Ipswich.

“The concerns for patients who use Ipswich Hospital’s core services are real and the decision making process seems to be nothing more than a rubber stamp exercise to push through plans against my constituent’s wishes.”

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Mr Hunt added that the new centre would “downgrade” the services available at Ipswich Hospital, which he described as “exceptional”.

He also described an “overwhelming” amount of local objection to the plans.

“I have received hundreds of emails and other messages from constituents about this issue,” he added.

“Not one of them supports the plans.

“Former patients have told me they would not be walking today were it not for the first rate orthopaedic care currently provided at Ipswich Hospital.”

However, Health and Social Care Minister, Edward Agar, reassured Mr Hunt that the plans “would not downgrade or diminish” the quality of care at Ipswich Hospital but “promote alternative ways of delivering clinical services”.

He said that work to organise transport for patients travelling to the centre from Ipswich is “ongoing”.

Previously, Dr Shane Gordon, director of strategy, innovation and research at ESNEFT said that the changes were necessary to improve waiting times.

He said: “One of our key priorities as an ICS in Suffolk and North East Essex is to ensure that our patients have access to timely, high quality orthopaedic care.”

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