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Dobson on Ipswich bed blocking

PUBLISHED: 13:35 17 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:21 03 March 2010

THE bed-blocking crisis at Ipswich Hospital is nothing new according to former Health Secretary Frank Dobson.

"There have always been problems with finding suitable beds for some people leaving hospital.

THE bed-blocking crisis at Ipswich Hospital is nothing new according to former Health Secretary Frank Dobson.

"There have always been problems with finding suitable beds for some people leaving hospital. The important thing is that the problem is being tackled," he said.

Mr Dobson was supporting Labour candidate Chris Mole in the by-election campaign – and praised his role at Suffolk County Council in tackling bed blocking.

"We have set up an action team to try to ease the problem, and it is being successful," said Mr Mole.

Conservatives have claimed that this action excludes non-government or council bodies – a claim Mr Mole rejected.

"We are using all agencies, whether government, local authority, charity or independent – it is not true that private organisations are excluded," he said.

Another visitor to the town yesterday was Liberal Democrat health spokesman Dr Evan Harris, who visited elderly residents at the Norwood Residential Home and the Ipswich Caribbean Centre.

He said: "Liberal Democrats have costed plans to recruit 27,500 nurses for the NHS. This will enable us to open thousands of new beds, combating bed-blocking.

"We will restore free NHS eye and dental checks.

"We believe low-paid nurses, midwives and other low-paid health professionals should be rewarded with an additional £1,000 on average every year.

"People in Ipswich clearly want more NHS staff and faster treatment and as MP for Ipswich, Tessa will campaign for that."

Tory culture spokesman and Suffolk MP Tim Yeo was hoping for a Conservative bonanza next week as he bought a lottery ticket on the campaign trail in Ipswich's shopping centre.

The South Suffolk MP was in town to boost election chances his party's candidate Paul West and said he was impressed by the response they received from shoppers.

"I was very encouraged," he said. "I think that the fact that Paul is a local man is a very important one.

"What with the current situation in the world and the forthcoming football match, interest in the election will be boosted by the fact he is local candidate who has lived here all his life who knows about the issues, the local schools – it's a huge advantage."

As the Tories' spokesman on culture he shadows reponsibility for the Lottery and lamented the fact that Ipswich was in the bottom half of the list of places who have so far received hand-outs. adding that he would assist in any way to improve the situation.

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