Health bosses still silent over HQ

HEALTH bosses in Suffolk are today still refusing to release details of the sites that were looked at during their search for a new headquarters.The Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) will relocate to new riverside offices in Bramford in January but is remaining tight-lipped about the decision making process.

HEALTH bosses in Suffolk are today still refusing to release details of the sites that were looked at during their search for a new headquarters.

The Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) will relocate to new riverside offices in Bramford in January but is remaining tight-lipped about the decision making process.

It emerged at the PCT's last board meeting that 12 sites were looked at when deciding where the new offices should be situated but the trust is refusing to reveal where these were.

The Evening Star submitted a request for the details to be released under the Freedom of Information Act but the PCT refused, claiming the information could be commercially sensitive.


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The paper submitted a formal complaint regarding this response two weeks ago but has yet to hear back.

A spokesman for the trust confirmed that the issue is being looked in to but would not comment on how long this could take.

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Nigel Pickover, Evening Star editor, said: “The new PCT should not be starting its life in secrecy.

“This is a very worrying trend and that's why we are fighting it.

“We want to know where these other sites were and to claim that the information is commercially sensitive is nonsense.”

The Suffolk PCT was formed on October 1 from a merger of four smaller primary care trusts.

Its decision to move to new riverside offices in Paper Mill Lane in Bramford, despite having a debt of more than £35m, sparked outrage from health workers and patients when it was announced in September.

South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo was so outraged by the decision that he asked health secretary Patricia Hewitt to intervene.

She refused claiming it was a matter for the NHS's local management.

Rental of the property will cost £300,000 a year but is expected to save the trust money in the long run as it will prevent staff from having to work across three different sites.

Do you have any idea where any of the 12 sites may have been? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk>

WEBLINK: www.suffolkpct.nhs.uk

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