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Felixstowe: Calls for cash from sale of 3A Constable Road to fund new x-ray suite at Felixstowe Community Hospital

13:00 13 June 2014

Felixstowe Community Hospital.

Felixstowe Community Hospital.

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Campaigners calling for cash generated from the sale of part of Felixstowe Community Hospital to be used to provide a new state-of-the-art x-ray suite have been told the money will go into an NHS pot.

Plans have been drawn up to sell an annexe to the hospital and it was hoped the money would be reinvested in the town’s health services.

However, NHS officials have been unable to guarantee cash from the sale of 3A Constable Road, for many years the chiropody unit and more recently used for health visitor services, will be used in the town.

Roy Gray, chairman of Felixstowe Hospital Action Group, said: “The x-ray unit at Felixstowe Community Hospital is coming to the end of its life and it needs replacing.

“It is a vital piece of equipment at Felixstowe – and saves many people having to go to Ipswich Hospital for routine x-ray appointments.

“Using the money from the sale of 3A Constable Road would be an ideal way of funding its replacement – and would keep that money in use in Felixstowe for the benefit of residents.

“I don’t see why the clinical commissioning group should be made to take out a loan to buy the equipment.”

He has asked health minister Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, and Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey to intervene.

The current x-ray suite was partly paid for by fundraising by the League of Friends of Felixstowe Hospitals and one of the town’s GP surgeries.

An Department of Health spokeswoman said proceeds from the sale of properties identified as surplus to NHS requirements, were retained within the NHS for reinvestment.

She said: “However, the decision of where NHS funds are invested in services and medical equipment rests with commissioners and not NHS Property Services.

“If a hospital needs capital investment to upgrade its x-ray department, it can initially find funding from its own income.

“If this is not possible, it can apply for an interest bearing loan.

“It will do this on the basis of its clinical and operations needs and available funding.”

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