Specialist diabetes nurses face the axe

SPECIALIST nurses dedicated to the care of people with diabetes are among those facing the axe at Ipswich Hospital, it emerged today.The hospital's diabetes centre is renowned for its pioneering work and has recently opened a new extension, but a cost-cutting review could result in a reduction in the number of nurses that work there.

SPECIALIST nurses dedicated to the care of people with diabetes are among those facing the axe at Ipswich Hospital, it emerged today.

The hospital's diabetes centre is renowned for its pioneering work and has recently opened a new extension, but a cost-cutting review could result in a reduction in the number of nurses that work there.

Jan Rowsell, hospital spokeswoman, said: “Our review of our nurse specialists found there are more diabetes nurse specialists in our hospital than other similar hospitals.

“There will be a reduction, based on a very careful analysis of the services we need to provide and the money we have available to provide these services.

“It's not about cutting services it's about working to what the government wants us to achieve.

“We recognise it's very threatening and disheartening to people who have worked in the services all their lives and they, perhaps, don't see how the calibre of care can be replicated elsewhere.”

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The diabetes centre has been at the forefront of advances in caring for the disease and is a world-leader in some of its work.

It has also recently unveiled an £800,000 extension, paid for after years of fundraising by staff and patients.

Dr Gerry Rayman, director of diabetes services at the hospital, said: “If we erode these specialist services it will take a long time to re-establish them.”

Ipswich Hospital is currently trying to clear debts of £24m and a range of controversial measures have been put in place, including axing some of the hospital's specialist nurses.

The hospital is also tightening up on its spending and cutting back on areas which should be paid for by the Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) rather than an acute hospital.

Caroline Tuohy, director of commissioning development for the Suffolk PCT, said: “Our plan is to radically improve support networks and specialist care in the community for people with this long-term condition. “We need to make sure that the right services are provided in the right places.

“There is an ongoing review of specialist services at Ipswich Hospital. We will be working closely with the hospital to consider the implications of this review.”

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