Hospital campaigners reject proposals

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Felixstowe's Bartlet Hospital and to stop cuts to the town's medical services today “utterly rejected” the proposed changes - and urged health bosses to resign.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Felixstowe's Bartlet Hospital and to stop cuts to the town's medical services today “utterly rejected” the proposed changes - and urged health bosses to resign.

Roy Gray, chairman of the Save Felixstowe Hospitals action group, said it was time for government to step in and that more time should be given for million of pounds of debts to be paid off and savings made.

With the ending of the consultation period, the action group has now submitted its views to the Primary Care Trust.

It said proposals for sending people home early from hospital to be looked after by travelling care teams was “unproven and dangerous”.

“When the hospital beds are closed patients will be left with inadequate or no NHS support to recover from their treatment in an acute hospital,” said Mr Gray.

“This supposed funding crisis means that services have to be cut first to release funds to build up the replacement care in the community service.

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“This is outrageous. It illustrates the ridiculous nature of the impossible time scale imposed on the PCT.”

Mr Gray said the action group felt the PCT was being asked to work at an “impossible pace” and “regardless of the consequence to health care”.

The group believed the Fresher Future for Felixstowe project - which reported a year ago - was absolutely correct when it proposed keeping both the resort's precious hospitals, one as an in-patient unit and the other an out-patient hospital.

“The recommendation to close the Bartlet is the worst possible outcome as Felixstowe General is too small to include step-up, step-down beds, minor injuries unit, x-ray and a range of clinics,” he said.

He called on health secretary Patricia Hewitt to step in immediately and the PCT board to resign.

The PCT board - which has previously rejected suggestions it should step down - has said it is now analysing hundreds of comments received on its Changing for the Better proposals.

It would draw up a report to reflect the comments and this would be discussed in late January when final decisions will be made.

Do you think convalescent care in hospital should be abandoned? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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