Downing street petition for hospital

A MOTHER, who regularly attends Ipswich Hospital to treat her rare illnesses, has gone straight to the top in the fight to keep the best services here.

A MOTHER, who regularly attends Ipswich Hospital to treat her rare illnesses, has gone straight to the top in the fight to keep the best services here.

Mary Foord-Brown, who lives in Bawdsey, feels so strongly about losing services at the Heath Road hospital that she has launched an e-petition to number ten Downing Street, calling for them to be protected. So far 80 people have signed it.

Miss Foord-Brown, 44, suffers from various rare conditions, including a serious form of psoriasis combined with arthritis and a blood clotting disorder.

Although she carries out all her skin treatment at home as well as her own physiotherapy work, and gets “excellent care” at the Framfield House Surgery in Woodbridge, she also has to attend regular appointments at Ipswich.

The mother of four, who moved to Suffolk in 1991, said: “I used to live in London and was treated at St Thomas' Hospital. Without Ipswich Hospital, I would not be able to live here. Being able to get to the hospital and use its facilities is paramount.”

The e-petition calls on the Prime Minister Gordon Brown to take immediate action to stop the “downgrading of services” at Ipswich

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Hospital. Miss Foord-Brown launched this in response to the hospital losing specialist services, such as the head and neck cancer surgery. Other services under threat include pancreatic cancer surgery.

She added: “I think Ipswich Hospital is a very good hospital. It is geographically very well placed for consultants coming from London and keeps us in touch with cutting edge medicine.

“At times my children have needed very urgent care and they have had excellent treatment.

“I want the government to sit up and notice that this area of England is not a soft touch for cuts.”

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, said: “There is no question of Ipswich Hospital being downgraded. We have a strong future as a local hospital that provides a wide range of services.

“There are a very small number of complex surgical operations that we do so essentially we need to focus on the 90 per cent of services that everyone needs. We are very grateful for the fantastic support our community shows Ipswich Hospital.”

If you want to sign the petition, visit http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/IpswichHospital/.

What is your view on the care you receive at Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.