Patient group backs doctors

A PATIENT group has today backed Ipswich Hospital consultants who spoke out over fears for the hospital's future.

A PATIENT group has today backed Ipswich Hospital consultants who spoke out over fears for the hospital's future.

Last week more than 100 top doctors signed an open letter expressing concerns that the hospital is being downgraded by a gradual loss of specialist services.

Now the Ipswich Hospital Cancer Services User Group, which battled with The Evening Star to keep head and neck cancer surgery at Heath Road last year, has thrown its support behind the medics.

A letter written by its chairman, David Dyer, to Dr Richard Watts, Ipswich's chair of the medical staff committee, said: “The Ipswich Hospital Cancer Services User Group would like to express through this letter, their appreciation of and support for the concerns expressed by the Ipswich Hospital consultants in their open letter to the press.

“Our group was involved in the so-called public consultation that preceded the move of head and neck cancer surgery to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, and our experiences during that consultation caused us to lose all confidence in the primary care trust's ability to listen to, speak or act for the people of Suffolk.

“That the body of consultants now share and have expressed similar disquiet can but confirm our earlier misgivings.

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“We also recognise the difficulties and conflicts that many of you have had to overcome before joining in making this public statement, and we are appreciative of the seriousness with which you view the current decision making arrangements that exist in our health service management.

“As a group, we wholeheartedly support your action, and offer any support that you may find to be of use.”

Were Ipswich Hospital's consultants right to speak out over their fears? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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