Fresh face for Felixstowe healthcare

WORK is today under way in earnest on a project to improve health services in Felixstowe and ensure its community hospitals are used to their full potential.

WORK is today under way in earnest on a project to improve health services in Felixstowe and ensure its community hospitals are used to their full potential.

Health chiefs have set themselves a target of putting a plan together in six months, though its findings and ideas will take three to five years to carry out.

Meetings are already being held with staff and community groups to find out their views, and proposals are being drawn up for consultation with the wider public, including a public meeting held jointly with the Evening Star.

Officials at Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust (PCT) say they have a "blank canvas" and simply want to hear realistically what health services people want.


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Only when they get answers and draw up the plan will they look at possible effects on budgets.

Jan Rowsell, PCT spokeswoman, said work had already started on the project following the go-ahead from board members in early December.

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A new director of intermediate care is to be appointed for the project – called Listening to you: bringing better healthcare and a fresh future for Felixstowe hospitals – and to work on future proposals for the Felixstowe area.

The project has already given an assurance that the future of both the General and Bartlet hospitals are safe, and there will be no loss of beds and no loss of staff jobs.

Its vision is to provide future services which are at the forefront of modern day healthcare with care in the right place at the right time, building on the services already in the town and providing the greatest benefit to patients.

In a report to the PCT board, Ms Selby said: "The two hospitals in Felixstowe, the Bartlet and Felixstowe General, are precious assets to the whole community and a vitally important part of healthcare locally and throughout East Suffolk.

"But both hospitals were built at the beginning of the last century and are largely unchanged since. We care for more people every year and an older population.

"We are not currently using the community hospitals' facilities to their full potential or greatest benefit to patients.

"In any schemes for improvement we will be helped by the facts that it will become more possible for people to be cared for at home or as day patients – and people admitted to hospital will often need to spend less time there."

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal-pct.nhs.uk

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