Hospital funding boost welcomed

FOR years people living in Felixstowe have been concerned about the future of the town's general hospital so the news that the government is to fully-fund the updating of the building will be widely welcomed.

FOR years people living in Felixstowe have been concerned about the future of the town's general hospital so the news that the government is to fully-fund the £1.76million project to update it comes as a very welcome boost to the town.

Felixstowe General is a real community hospital, providing care for those who live in the area and emergency help for those who suffer minor injuries while visiting the resort.

As the NHS in Suffolk has faced difficult financial times, there were real fears for the future of the hospital - fears which were heightened following the decision to close the Bartlett hospital.

It became clear some months ago that the work would go ahead at the General, but today's news is a real shot in the arm to the health service in Suffolk and after years of brickbats, the NHS deserves to be praised for coming up with the money.

However now that the PCT has learned that the updating programme will be fully-funded by the government it is now in the pleasant position of having £1.4 million allocated to the project which can now be spent on other things.

With Ipswich Hospital continuing to face stringent cut-backs, partly thanks to a strict financial regime imposed by the PCT, it would be good to see some of this extra money - effectively a £1.4 million windfall - channelled in its direction to help give the hospital a real financial kick-start.

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That way everyone living in the south east of the county could benefit from this windfall.

THOUSANDS of motorists using the A14 around Ipswich faced rush-hour traffic chaos today after a lorry broke down near Claydon.

Breakdowns happen all too often. Far too frequently our busiest road is brought to a standstill by a lorry failure - and the response of the authorities is not good enough.

Because this was a simple breakdown, not an accident, the police were not involved - it was up to the lorry driver and his recovery firm to arrange for the vehicle to be removed.

That is not acceptable on a road as busy as the A14 - police or the Highways Agency must have the power to drag broken down vehicles off the road straight away and then present the bill to their owners or insurance companies.

Time is money for people driving at the rush-hour. No one travels at that hour for fun. It is not acceptable for traffic to be brought to a standstill for miles because of a simple breakdown.

ENGLAND fans seeking some solace from the national football team's stuttering performance in the European Championship qualifiers had hoped for a boost from the Caribbean as the nation's cricketers attempt to make progress in the World Cup.

However yesterday's laboured victory over Bangladesh was almost painful to watch and will do nothing to boost the national mood.

Hopes were high entering this tournament, but so far England has not managed to beat any established test nation in the tournament - victories against Canada, Kenya, Ireland, and Bangladesh hardly compensate for defeats at the hand of New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Australia.