New hope for Ipswich nurses

NO SPECIALIST nurses at Ipswich Hospital are to be made redundant, The Evening Star can reveal today.Following an ongoing high profile campaign by the Star to save the nurses who offer hope to so many, thousands of you signed petitions to ask the hospital to reconsider the decision.

NO SPECIALIST nurses at Ipswich Hospital are to be made redundant, The Evening Star can reveal today.

Following an ongoing high profile campaign by the Star to save the nurses who offer hope to so many, thousands of you signed petitions to ask the hospital to reconsider the decision.

A series of frantic negotiations have now resulted in many of the jobs now being saved.

Originally 30 specialist nursing posts faced the axe as the hospital tried to claw back some of its £24million debts.

However today it has been revealed that although 16 nurse specialist jobs will be lost, the nurses will be kept on in other roles within their speciality and no-one will be made redundant.

Of those 16, six nurses will go into other departments who need specialist nurses who did not have them before.

Most Read

Gwen Collins, the hospital's director of nursing said: “For example, in the urology department we had five specialist posts and there was not the amount of work to support that many.

“So although I have taken one person away from there they have actually been deployed as a lung cancer specialist - which is something we did not have before.”

The announcement is the news that thousands of Evening Star readers have been hoping for since we launched our Save Our Angels campaign - and shows that hospital bosses have listened to the public outcry caused by the proposed cuts.

In just two weeks we received more than 1,000 signatures in support of the nurses.

Mrs Collins said: “I am delighted that we have been able to save this many but there are still some people who are very upset and I can understand that.

“It was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do but I am pleased that we have been able to maintain the services.

“There is now no group of patients that will be affected.”

She said the hospital had always hoped to save as many of the posts as possible and that the jobs have been retained following an intensive review and negotiations with outside agencies for external funding.

Among the posts that have been saved due to financial help from charities and money for research are six diabetes nurses, one breast care nurse and two paediatric oncology nurses that help children with cancer.

Mrs Collins said: “The nurses themselves have said to me that it's been horrible and they haven't liked it at all but that, in a way, it's the best thing that could have happened because the trust now realises how much they contribute and that they can't afford to lose them.”

What do you think about the hospital's announcement? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk>

Sarah Beard, whose daughter Chelsie lost her battle against cancer earlier this year, set up her own campaign to save the oncology nurses and collected more than 2,500 signatures.

She said: “I'm ecstatic to hear they're staying. I think the hospital have done the right thing.

“My campaign was not just for the nurses, but for all the children who were in Chelsie's position and needed their help.

“I just hope this is it now and the hospital won't be going through the same thing again in 12 months time.”

Pauline Entwistle , Ipswich Hospital's Royal College of Nursing representative, said: “I think it's really good news for most people but the question now is whether people will be redeployed in to suitable posts.

“The reason people haven't been made redundant is because it would be too expensive for the hospital.

“Overall, I'm pleased that they have managed to save the money and I don't think patients will see much difference in their care.”

Malcolm Hannatt, a Parkinson's Disease patient from Ipswich, said: “It's brilliant news. Without these nurses a lot of people would not be able to cope.

“I was very worried when I thought that Helen, the Parkinson's nurse, might be going - without her I wouldn't be able to leave the kind of life I do.”

Roger Mackay, of the Ipswich and District Trade Unions' Council, said: “It's certainly wonderful news that these jobs have been saved.

“I've no doubt that they've had to do some additional homework because of the pressure that has come from campaigners.

“There's obviously a lot more work to be done and let's hope that as the campaigns continue the primary care trust begins to sit up and take notice.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter