New projects speed treatment

GROUND breaking projects and almost one million pounds of funding mean patients with arthritis, rheumatism and skin complaints can get faster treatment in East Suffolk.

By Jessica Nicholls

GROUND breaking projects and almost one million pounds of funding mean patients with arthritis, rheumatism and skin complaints can get faster treatment in East Suffolk.

Specialist services such as dermatology are to be brought into the community and more treatment rooms are to be created so patients can be treated quicker.

The projects, called 'Action on' have been developed in Orthopaedics and Dermatology by all three Primary Care Trusts in East Suffolk and the Ipswich Hospital NHS trust.

In specialist areas such as dermatology, clinic and consultation rooms are to be developed in health centres or doctors surgeries so that people can be treated nearer to where they live and do not have to go to hospital.

More treatment rooms are also to be created in Dermatology so patients with serious skin complaints such as tumours can be seen and treated at the same time.

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Rachel Hawkins, director of modernisation and best practice at Ipswich Primary Care NHS trust said: "The impact that these projects will have for patients and health care professionals working throughout the NHS in East Suffolk is immense."

Funding consisted of £284,000 for Orthopaedics (to fund Rheumatology development), £287,000 for Dermatology and £305,000 to develop services in primary care settings, from the Department of Health.

Rhian Anstey, development manager at Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust said: "This is about listening to patients and changing the way we work in a very radical way to bring both faster treatment and a much more responsive service for people.

"It is very exciting and we are now concentrating on drawing up plans to start the building and development work as soon as possible."

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