Health campaign special meeting

CAMPAIGNERS fighting against radical changes to health services in Felixstowe will tonight update residents on how the battle is progressing at a special meeting in the town.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting against radical changes to health services in Felixstowe will tonight update residents on how the battle is progressing at a special meeting in the town.

Members of Save Felixstowe Hospitals action group have called the meeting because there are now only 19 days left for people to make their views known.

This week action group members visited the Houses of Parliament to hand over the 16,000 signature Evening Star petition against the cuts - meeting with Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer in one of the committee rooms to hear the latest situation.

A panel from the group will talk through the next steps before the Primary Care Trust makes its final decision in the new year at the meeting tonight at Cavendish Community Church, Grange Farm Avenue, at 7.30pm..


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The PCT wants to close the Bartlet Hospital and sell it off for conversion to luxury apartments. It says rehabilitation and convalescent beds will not be needed in the future - and people will be sent home earlier to be looked after by travelling care teams.

But it is pledging to invest in Felixstowe General and bring more clinics to the town.

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Mike Ninnmey , Peter Mellor, Felixstowe GP Dr Janet Massey, who is also a representative of the British Medical Association, and county councillor Graham Newman will form the panel.

Mr Ninnmey said: “We feel it is important to keep the public up to date with what is happening and the next few weeks will be crucial.

“The action group is fighting on all fronts and will be meeting this weekend to look at new ideas.

“We have to keep the pressure on and keep this issue in the public eye.

“It is changing day by day - for example, we were told there would be 20 beds in the Felixstowe General Hospital.

“Now it seems there will be 14 because of the space you have to have around each bed.

“This is more than a little worrying because originally we were told that any hospital with less than 20 beds would not be viable - does that mean there is a threat to the General?”

The next key meeting will be the county council's health scrutiny committee, which has the power to refer the issue to Secretary of State for Health Patricia Hewitt.

WEBLINK: www.saveourhospitals.felixstowecommunity.co.uk

What do you think the government should do about Suffolk's health services? Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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