Hospitals prepare for merger

MORE front-line medical services could be merged between Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, it emerged today.

MORE front-line medical services could be merged between Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, it emerged today.

Top bosses at the two hospitals have been meeting to discuss extending the practice of combining on-call consultant rotas.

Already the two hospitals share ear nose and throat and vascular consultants, and the soon to be introduced rule changes on working times, reducing the hours doctors can work, may increase the need to share resources.

Andrew Reed and Peter Donaldson, the chief executive and medical director at Ipswich Hospital have met with their counterparts at Colchester, Peter Murphy and Andrew May.

But Jan Rowsell, Ipswich Hospital's spokeswoman, said there were currently no plans to merge any back room functions.

She said: “We have long-standing arrangements with Colchester Hospital in ear nose and throat services and, more recently, vascular services.

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“It means we share the Colchester and Ipswich consultants who join together to provide an on-call rota to benefit the community.

“Our first priority is to ensure all the services we provide are of very high quality and safe.

“We are looking at this ongoing relationship and we will be continuing to look at how we can clinically collaborate.”

She added that Ipswich Hospital and Colchester Hospital are also working together to create a decontamination centre.

Should the hospitals in Ipswich and Colchester work more closely together? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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