Ipswich: Minor injuries unit set to move to Ipswich Hospital

IPSWICH: Patients can today have their say as health bosses reveal the minor injuries unit in Ipswich is set to move to the town’s hospital.

The Riverside Clinic in Landseer Road is set to close under the plans but a new centre will be opened at the Heath Road trust.

It has emerged the idea behind opening the Riverside Clinic in 2006, to take the pressure off the hospital’s emergency department, has not worked – costing �6million in the meantime. As a result the new plans, devised by GP commissioners, NHS Suffolk and A&E staff at the hospital, aim to concentrate emergency clinical expertise on one site.

Tracy Dowling, director of strategic commissioning at NHS Suffolk said the proposals will make it easier for patients to know which service is right for their injury.

“It will also ensure that A&E has increased activity, putting it on a more secure financial footing,” she said.

“Patients and staff will also have the backup of hospital support services should a condition become more serious. Opening the additional capacity just resulted in more attendances overall as the impact on A&E was small,” she added.

“This was not more cost-effective and resulted in duplication of capacity and an increased spend of more than �1.2m. Providing good quality patient care remains our priority.”

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Dave Hartin, lead consultant in emergency medicine at Ipswich Hospital, said: “We see this as the best decision for patients. There will be less confusion for people about where to go.”

Dr Imran Qureshi, an Ipswich GP, said: “We believe basing the service at Ipswich Hospital will mean patients will no longer be passed from site to site.

“We recognise there may be other impacts on patients, which is why we want to hear from people of Ipswich and the surrounding towns in this engagement process.”

n Complete an online survey at www.suffolk.nhs.uk or request a hard copy by calling NHS Suffolk on 01473 770014. The closing date is April 20.

n Tell us what you think. Write to health reporter Lizzie Parry at Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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