Petition to save orthopaedic surgery at Ipswich Hospital gathers over 4,000 signatures
PUBLISHED: 11:30 29 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:53 29 June 2020
A petition to save orthopaedic surgery at Ipswich Hospital has gathered over 4,000 signatures.
The campaign, started on the Change.org website, asks hospital leaders to think again about the issue which will see elective orthopaedic surgeries moved to Colchester Hospital and the hip and knee theatres in Ipswich closed.
The petition, started by the Orwell Ahead group, calls on hospital bosses to stop the changes and prevent the “downsizing of Ipswich Hospital or its core services”.
“No more downgrading Ipswich as a regional authority or centre,” said the petition.
After being launched at the weekend over 3,200 people have signed the petition.
Mark Ling from Orwell Ahead said he was pleased with the response to the petition.
“It’s really taken off,” said Mr Ling.
“It has touched a nerve with people here.”
Mr Ling said he was concerned for vulnerable patients who would have to travel 20 miles to an unfamiliar town as well as what was happening to the hospital more widely.
“What we are concerned about is that we will have to put up with a Frankenstein hospital with parts cut off and sent away,” said Mr Ling.
Mr Ling said that he hoped to deliver the petition to Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere and Ipswich MP Tom Hunt to pass on to decision-makers if it reached 5000 signatures.
The petition follows concerns about the planned changes brought up by Mr Hunt in the House of Commons last week.
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Mr Hunt mentioned the planned changes twice in Parliament and said it was important that national attention was focussed on the plans.
Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg said the topic “sounds like a worthy subject for an adjournment debate to highlight it more broadly”.
Nick Hulme, chief executive of ESNEFT, said: “We are not proposing to close orthopaedic services at Ipswich Hospital, but instead plan to enhance the care our patients receive by developing a state-of-the-art centre in Colchester for planned surgery.
“This will help us to cut waiting times, reduce cancellations and improve the experience our patients have when receiving care, as well as their outcomes from surgery.
“It’s important to stress that all other care - including pre-assessments, outpatient appointments, diagnostic tests and rehabilitation – would continue to take place in Ipswich, as would emergency orthopaedic surgery.
“This proposal comes in addition to a raft of investment which is already taking place in Ipswich, including £35m for a new emergency department and urgent treatment centre, £2.5m for a breast care centre and £2.5m for a redeveloped children’s unit.”
Dr Ed Garratt, chief executive of the Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG and North East Essex CCG, said: “Our system undertook a consultation earlier in the year in which we shared and discussed our proposal with our patients, carers, staff and community groups. This gave everyone the opportunity to find out more about the plans and comment on them.
“Our system remains committed to involving and engaging with our communities whatever the clinically led governing bodies decide.
“A final decision is due to be made by members on July 14.”
More information about the petition can be found here.
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