Health cost savings will be seen soon

SUPPORTERS of under-threat health services will soon be able to see exactly how much money could be saved by closing them, it emerged today.Carole Taylor-Brown, chief executive of the Suffolk East PCTs, said the information would be published next week in response to concerns raised by the public.

SUPPORTERS of under-threat health services will soon be able to see exactly how much money could be saved by closing them, it emerged today.

Carole Taylor-Brown, chief executive of the Suffolk East PCTs, said the information would be published next week in response to concerns raised by the public.

She said: “I acknowledge that some of the financial stuff has not been readily available to people.

“But the papers for our public board meeting next week will have a much more detailed breakdown of the financial position.

“It will show in more detail what we are investing in community services and where we hope savings will be made. It should also show the amount of money that we expect to come in from the sale of buildings.”

Mrs Taylor-Brown said she hoped the information would be broken down in to the individual areas so people in, for example, Felixstowe or Aldeburgh could see how much the services in their town were contributing to the financial recovery.

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The board papers will be available at the meeting and on the web.

A series of financial workshops for the public are being planned now that the consultation period has been extended until the end of November.

A sheet of frequently asked questions will also be published.

Mrs Taylor-Brown said: “I think the message is that we are listening and we are taking in to account people's concerns.”

However, she was concerned that throughout the consultation period the focus had been largely on the financial situation.

She said: “What we are really trying to do is make services better for people and that message seems to have got a bit lost among the finance aspect.

“The fact is the longer people spend in an acute hospital, the more dependent they become.

“Everyone thinks 'If I'm ill I need to go to a bed', but actually you don't.

“What you need is the care and support and, if you can get that in your own home environment, you will get better a lot more quickly.”

She also stressed that there will be more changes announced over the coming months.

She said: “This recovery plan is part of a long-term period of recovery. There will be more.

“We want to build a service that is sustainable for the future. We can't go on running a service that we can't afford.

“We have got to think a few years down the track.”

The new financial information will be available at the Suffolk East PCTs annual board meeting at the Kesgrave War Memorial Community Centre on next Wednesday,. The meeting starts at 10.15am.

Weblink: www.suffolkeast.nhs.uk

N We would like to hear your views on the financial crisis facing Suffolk's health service. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

N Page 34 - Health Secretary's secret Ipswich Hospital visit

The Changing for the Better consultation paper sets out plans to close:

The Bartlet Hospital in Felixstowe

Three mental health day hospitals

Hartismere Hospital in Eye

The Pines therapy centre at St Clement's Hospital

The Hollies garden centre at St Clement's Hospital

Bridge House clubhouse in Ipswich

Old Fox House clubhouse in Stowmarket

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