Campaigners welcome hospital cash boost

CAMPAIGNERS today welcomed government's agreement to fund the whole of the cost of the redevelopment of Felixstowe General Hospital.The cash boost will allow health chiefs to do more than proposed.

CAMPAIGNERS today welcomed government's agreement to fund the whole of the cost of the redevelopment of Felixstowe General Hospital.

The cash boost will allow health chiefs to do more than proposed.

Suffolk Primary Care Trust was spending around £1.4 million on the unit, but now can do all it had originally hoped to do thanks to £1.76m from government to pay for the total refurbishment.

It will also mean there will be other spare cash available - from the sale of the Bartlet Hospital and other money set aside in its budget for the transformation of the General into a modern community hospital - to spend on other health care projects.


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Health officials had privately been expecting a small government grant towards the work and have been thrilled with the response to their application.

Chief executive of the PCT, Carole Taylor-Brown, said: “This is fantastic news. We are really pleased to have had our bid approved.

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“This brings more money into Suffolk and gives us more flexibility to invest in other patient service developments.

“When putting forward our bid to make improvements at Felixstowe General, the whole emphasis was on boosting the quality of clinical services.

“Once we open its doors, the hospital will be providing a whole range of services to bring the best of modern health and social care to local people.”

Roy Gray, chairman of the Felixstowe Save Our Hospitals Action Group, said: “I am delighted to see this support from the government for Felixstowe and delighted for the people of Felixstowe.

“One of the aims of the government grants is for people to be able to have minor surgery, meet consultants in a variety of clinics, have tests and follow-up care at a hospital near them - and we will be able to have those facilities here in Felixstowe now and not have to travel to Ipswich.

“That is what we have been campaigning for and we are thrilled.”

Announcing £50m-worth of projects countrywide, Health Minister Andy Burnham said the government's five-year programme was worth £750m and was the biggest hospital building programme in the history of the NHS.

“We are not just building like-for-like replacements of existing buildings, we are re-thinking the way the NHS provides care so that patients receive better, more convenient services,” he said.

Felixstowe General's services will include minor injuries, radiography, upgraded x-ray facilities, physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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