Fears for impact on Ipswich Hospital over link-up with Colchester

Ipswich Hospital

Ipswich Hospital

Concerns were raised last night over the effect a partnership between Ipswich and Colchester hospitals will have on the Suffolk trust.

A proposal by NHS Improvement and the CQC to form a link between the two organisations was described as “the only way” to secure services for patients in Essex into the future.

The bid was welcomed by health officials in both counties, but patients have raised their fears that the link-up could be detrimental to Ipswich Hospital.

Writing on the EADT and Ipswich Star websites, one commenter said: “I have a friend who gets treatment there [Colchester] and it has always been first class, but I certainly would not want Ipswich Hospital dragged down and into a bad and poorly funded situation.”

Meanwhile, another reader said: “This will mean Ipswich hospital being dragged down by a failing one and yet another nail in the coffin of the NHS.”

The proposal was announced after the latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection on Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust – which has been in special measures for more than two years – found services were not “of the required quality”.

And while the official details of what the partnership will look like, it is believed it could involve Ipswich Hospital bosses take a more hands on role in Colchester.

Leaders at the Heath Road trust insisted that patient care would always come first. A spokeswoman said: “Our priority is to provide safe, high quality and compassionate care to all.”

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Meanwhile, Tony Durcan, Royal College of Nursing senior officer for Essex, said: “Both trusts have experienced challenges in recent years and we should look forward to a partnership arrangement based on the principle of best practice and what is in the interest of all patients, regardless of their postcode.

“The RCN looks forward to working with both trusts to ensure our members are fully engaged in the process of introducing the new arrangements. Change can bedaunting but we will work continue to work with both trusts and nursing staff to ensure a smooth transition.

“We will also push to ensure care is delivered locally and the A12 doesn’t become a corridor or barrier between both hospital sites.

“We have to accept that no trust can stand alone in the NHS and hope the new partnership is built from mutual trust and common goals to improve care for all, with a focus on having the right numbers of staff to provide safe patient care.”

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