PCT chief defends HQ move

SUFFOLK'S under-fire primary care trust chief today defended her organisation's decision to relocate to new headquarters, as the storm over the move intensified.

SUFFOLK'S under-fire primary care trust chief today defended her organisation's decision to relocate to new headquarters, as the storm over the move intensified.

Carole Taylor-Brown spoke out after being questioned by The Evening Star about Suffolk PCT's proposed new offices in Bramford.

She said: “The PCT reiterates that the move to the new HQ is but one part of it its intention to reduce the existing management costs of current PCTs by 20 per cent, exceeding the national target of 15pc.

“It is sure that the public, in its final analysis, will want to focus on this bottom line and on its performance overall.”


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The move is part of a NHS restructuring plan which will see four of the county's PCTs form a new county-wide trust on October 1.

The new Suffolk PCT would move to the leased offices in Paper Mill Lane at the beginning of next year and offices in Ipswich, Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds will be vacated.

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Mrs Taylor-Brown's comments came as she answered only six of 20 key questions levelled at the PCT by the Star.

The remaining 14 are either totally ignored in Mrs Taylor-Brown's carefully worded statement or skated over, with suggestions the answers will become available after the PCT's next meeting on October 2.

Mrs Taylor-Brown today said she was proud of Suffolk East's efforts to cut debt by £17.4 million last year and she said the move to the new HQ would be “cost effective”.

But despite the emphasis on the need to count the cash, there remains no indication of how much the new building will cost, and how much the PCT will save by moving out of its current offices across the county.

Mrs Taylor-Brown said that the decision over the new headquarters still has to be confirmed by the new PCT but she did not say whether the PCT could reverse the decision.

Unions have raised concerns about access to the building, in particular its distance from public transport links.

The PCT says staff only make “limited” use of public transport and that they will be encouraged to share car journeys.

But Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer has warned that any initiatives like that are difficult to sustain and are eventually likely to mean more people driving to work.

Weblink: www.suffolkeast.nhs.uk

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