Stroke victim's fear over clinic closure

STROKE victim Sharon Mortier has lost count of the number of times Felixstowe's minor injuries unit has saved her life - and is today furious the night-time service has been axed.

STROKE victim Sharon Mortier has lost count of the number of times Felixstowe's minor injuries unit has saved her life - and is today furious the night-time service has been axed.

She now fears she will have to call on ambulances to take her to Ipswich when she needs treatment at night, and is worried about the time it could take.

Miss Mortier, 39, of Selvale Way, Felixstowe, suffered a stroke three years ago and continues to suffer mini-strokes. She also suffers from acute asthma.

Last year she used the unit at Felixstowe General and Bartlet hospitals 12 times. In the previous two years she used it even more - and was admitted to Ipswich Hospital 33 times.


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Miss Mortier said: “I am a regular visitor to the MIU and all the staff know me there - so they know exactly what needs to be done when I arrive.

“Because my asthma is so severe I can go from being fine to total collapse in such a short time if I have a major attack. The most dangerous time is if someone gives me a cold - that could be deadly.

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“The MIU is quick and easy to get to and I can be on a nebuliser within minutes and get the relief I need.

“The staff there have without doubt saved my life on numerous occasions. I just cannot thank them enough for the work they do.”

Miss Mortier is worried having to call an ambulance at night in future to take her to Ipswich. While paramedics would give her relief, she is worried about how long an ambulance might take.

She said: “If I was going to the MIU at Felixstowe, I could take a taxi or someone else could take me. But the ambulances are already busy and I may have to wait for one to arrive at my home.

“It is very worrying. I just cannot understand how they can remove a facility like this from a town of this size - I just hope that when the General is refurbished, it can be re-opened.”

Suffolk East Primary Care Trust has closed the night-time MIU at the Bartlet because of lack of staff and few people using it.

The MIU at the General is open from 7am to 8.30pm. After that people are advised to call NHS Direct for advice, or their doctor's surgery to be put through to the out of hours service, or go to the Riverside Clinic MIU, in Ipswich.

What do you think of the night-time closure of the minor injuries unit at Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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