Too dangerous to walk to PCT site

A SHUTTLE-bus could have to be provided for health workers because it is too dangerous to walk along the road to their new headquarters, it emerged today.

A SHUTTLE-bus could have to be provided for health workers because it is too dangerous to walk along the road to their new headquarters, it emerged today.

A paper sent out to staff by Suffolk Primary Care Trust to staff states: “We will be looking at ways of enabling staff using public transport to get to/from Rushbrook House.

“This will include assessing the possible use of a staff shuttle bus service.”

It was also stated that they would contact Suffolk County Council to see what options there are to provide a footpath, lighting and additional bus service in the future.


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The move to the new headquarters at Rushbrook House, Paper Mill Lane, Bramford, has proved controversial, with critics saying it sends out the wrong messages at a time when the NHS is facing huge cutbacks.

The PCT will move to the new leased offices - a converted paper mill - at the beginning of next year and existing offices in Ipswich, Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds will be vacated.

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Managers said the move will lead to savings. It is part of a NHS restructuring plan which will see four of the county's primary care trusts form a new county-wide trust on October 1.

Unions have raised fears about the suitability of the building and critics have said patients should be the focus.

Unison representative Ian Talbot has written to PCT bosses to raise staff concerns.

He said: “The staff are a bit worried because there is no bus stop nearby. The trust has tried to tell them it's a ten minute walk but it's a lot further than that. It's unlit and there are no pathways.”

Roy Gray, chairman of the Save Our Felixstowe Hospitals Action Group, said: “I'm sure it will be very nice for the staff but the NHS is supposed to be about patients.”

Jenny Brabazon, former chairman of the Suffolk Coastal Patient and Public Involvement Forum, said: “You can understand the logic of them wanting to be in the centre of the community and it is hard to say much without knowing the figures involved.

“The one thing that did strike me was the issue of public transport. It's not going to be very easy for people who want to get buses or trains there.”

Tim Yeo, South Suffolk MP, called on the PCT managers to do everything they could to minimize the cost of the move.

He said: “It's absolutely essential that there should be care taken to ensure administrators and managers are not wasting a single penny.

“At a time when patients are going to be suffering as a result of cuts it is up to management to take the utmost care.”

Weblink: www.suffolkeast.nhs.uk

n. See www.eveningstar.co.uk/edblog

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