Bartlet campaigners consider court

COURT action may be taken to stop the sale of the Bartlet Hospital at Felixstowe and give the community a chance to take over its running, it was announced today.

COURT action may be taken to stop the sale of the Bartlet Hospital at Felixstowe and give the community a chance to take over its running, it was announced today.

Campaigners refuse to give up and watch it close and have announced a public meeting on January 19 to gauge the public's views.

The Suffolk Primary Care Trust does not need the Bartlet in future as patients will be looked after at home by travelling care teams instead of it providing convalescent care in hospital.

That has left people uncertain where the campaigners will get their patients, or who will pay to place them in the hospital.

But leading campaigner Mike Ninnmey is undaunted and says the need for Bartlet is as great today as it was when it was built 80 years ago.

He said: “I don't think the objectives that Dr Bartlet had when he left the money in his will for the Bartlet to be built have changed at all.

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“The need was great then for a place for people to convalesce after a stay in hospital, and the need is great today - especially for those folk who live alone and have no-one to look after them or an elderly partner who also may need care or could not cope.

“We should not be losing facilities like the Bartlet, and we must do everything we can to protect them.

“We may have to take out a court injunction to stop the sale of the Bartlet and we are taking legal advice.”

Mr Ninnmey is one of five people behind the new Bartlet Bequest Action Group (BBAG), which met yesterday for the first time to draw up its plans.

It is inviting specialists to the meeting on January 19 to explain how a community could run a convalescent home.

Mr Ninnmey said: “Our main problem is partly what has always been the Bartlet's problem - it is not just a facility for Felixstowe, but the wider community of east Suffolk.”

The PCT is currently assessing bids which it received for the Bartlet - up for sale for £1.95million -and says it will be meeting interested parties this month to discuss the offers.

The public meeting is at St John's Church, Orwell Road, Felixstowe, on January 19 at 7.30pm.

WEBLINK:

www.suffolkpct.nhs.uk

Is it too late to save the Bartlet? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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