Health unit sparks fears for General

HEALTH campaigners in Felixstowe have complained that a new minor injuries unit is trying to attract patients from the resort and could threaten the future of its general hospital.

HEALTH campaigners in Felixstowe have complained that a new minor injuries unit is trying to attract patients from the resort and could threaten the future of its general hospital.

They have been upset that leaflets for the new Riverside minor injuries unit (MIU) in Ipswich are being distributed from Felixstowe General Hospital and have also been sent to many clubs and organisations in the town.

Roy Gray, chairman of the Felixstowe Save Our Hospitals Action Group, feared this could lead to people travelling to the Riverside instead of using the General.

He said: “What we don't want to see is a drop in the number of people using the minor injuries unit at Felixstowe General - the new Primary Care Trust could say if it is not being used, let's look at its future and see if it is needed and then close it.


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“The MIU is absolutely vital to Felixstowe and helps thousands of people every year.

“It saves people having to travel to Ipswich, and they can get excellent treatment quickly and easily.”

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Mr Gray said he thought the Riverside clinic leaflets are unfair and misleading.

He said: “They are publicising the fact that you can go to the Riverside all day and encouraging people to go there, but we don't seem to be publicising the General and that it is open from 7.30am to 8.30pm.

“Many people appear not to realise the help they can get at the Felixstowe General MIU and the PCT should be concentrating on promoting it more effectively.”

He and other campaigners had spoken to trust officials about the situation, and he said he would also be writing to trust chief executive Carole Taylor-Brown.

Felixstowe lost its night-time MIU service at the Bartlet earlier this year because of lack of use and to save money. The Riverside provides a service until 10pm.

A spokeswoman for the trust said the Riverside clinic could be used by Felixstowe people but the General was clearly the facility for residents during its opening hours.

She said: “We need to make it very clear that the PCT has continued to emphasise the importance of the MIU at Felixstowe General - it has a very safe future and there are no plans to change that. In fact, the plans are to enhance it.”

When both Felixstowe and Riverside MIUs were closed, people should ring their GP surgery to be connected to the call system to receive advice on where to receive health care.

Are you worried about the future of Felixstowe General? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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