People want health services to stay in town

An overwhelming majority of people believe that vital services, including all heart treatment, should be kept at Ipswich Hospital, a consultation has revealed.

IPSWICH: An overwhelming majority of people believe that vital services, including all heart treatment, should be kept at Ipswich Hospital, a consultation has revealed.

A public consultation about the Heath Road hospital's bid to become a Foundation Trust was launched to raise awareness and understanding of the plans and ask people for their views. Foundation trusts are still part of the NHS but their future is driven more by local people and less by the Department of Health.

A total of 84 per cent of respondents gave their view on what the NHS Trust should achieve in its first three years as a Foundation Trust. Among the most common answers were the preservation of existing services, complete cardiology services at Ipswich, treatment at Ipswich rather than elsewhere, excellent medical outcomes and quality of care, and a better understanding between the Trust and the public.

Prue Rush, a health campaigner in Suffolk, said the results show how important it is for health bosses to keep the public informed about their plans as they are important.

Earlier this year the Star revealed the proposal to treat emergency heart attack patients outside the county and also that NHS Suffolk bought farmland for �475,000 to transform into a car park. Neither of these developments had been made before.

She said: “This shows that health organisations have to remember they are there to serve us. It is a public service and they should listen to the people and hear what they are saying. They are taking a paternalistic attitude that they know best and they don't. They are looking at statistics and accounting sheets and must remember there are patients attached to that.”

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The hospital's consultation was launched in June and finished earlier this month. It involved asking for views on its plans for the next five years including expanding cancer services, becoming a University Hospital and developing a new neonatal unit.

What is your view on this? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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