The patients' views

PATIENTS should be put first - not government guidelines.And those treated by the expert team at Ipswich Hospital are extremely worried that a wonderful service may be lost.

PATIENTS should be put first - not government guidelines.

And those treated by the expert team at Ipswich Hospital are extremely worried that a wonderful service may be lost.

Their concerns range from facing a long journey at a stressful time, that their loved ones will not be able to visit, and they will no receive continuity of care, if the service moves miles from their homes to Norwich.

One impassioned patient who spoke at the consultations was 79-year-old Joan Wilkins whose husband, Haverland, had his larynx removed at Ipswich Hospital in 2002 because of cancer.


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She said: “Why has Suffolk got to be the poor relation?

“Travel is not good for patients. The support from family is part of the healing process. Fifty miles there and back again is too long, you can't expect people to travel 100 miles. I wouldn't have been able to visit my husband.”

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And Peter Espley, of the Ipswich Hospital Cancer Services User Group, added that if patients and his independent group were listened to the ACN would have to change its mind.

He said: "We think we've made an extremely solid case, demolishing every one of their arguments.

"We are disappointed that the PCT has decided to support the ACN and we're irritated because we think the decision has been taken, they are not listening to patients families and carers.

"This type of fight is all new to us, and we're surprised and pleased that people are prepared to stand up and speak out about what they think is right and wrong.”

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