Warning to Suffolk health chiefs

Criticism has today been levelled at health chiefs in Suffolk, who have been warned to improve or face monthly scrutiny.

SUFFOLK: Criticism has today been levelled at health chiefs in Suffolk, who have been warned to improve or face monthly scrutiny.

In a letter written by the chairman of the East of England Strategic Health Authority, Keith Pearson, to Alasdair McWhirter, the chairman of NHS Suffolk, he states that the performance by the PCT during 2008/9 was “inconsistent”.

The letter follows the PCT's Annual Accountability Review meeting earlier this year and states that although there has been some good progress, there are areas where improvements could be made.

The Cambridge-based SHA has a remit to “provide strategic leadership” for the NHS in the region though some have called for it to be abolished.

Mr Pearson highlighted areas where performance was poor, particularly in relation to the PCT's delivery of services, including dentistry, the 18-week Referral to Treatment and Accident and Emergency department targets and the Choose and Book system at Ipswich and West Suffolk Hospitals.

He was concerned that the performance of Ipswich Hospital's A&E was getting worse and requested the PCT produce a recovery plan to ensure it constantly meets the four-hour target for treatment.

Most Read

He said: “While the NHS East of England remains confident in the ability of the NHS Suffolk, more evidence is needed to demonstrate that your full potential can be realised.

“Formal performance management arrangements will, for the time being, be put in place for 2009/10 on a quarterly basis. However we will need to move to monthly monitoring if there is continuing concern with regard to the issues set out in this letter.”

At the NHS Suffolk Board meeting, its chief executive Carole Taylor Brown said: “It is unacceptable that people are waiting too long to get elective care. We must move to a position where the hospital is standing on its own two feet. Ipswich Hospital has worked very constructively with us to make improvements.”

There were some positive points in the letter, as Mr Pearson commended the PCT on meeting its smoking cessation target, its work to deliver lifestyle and health improvements, and its successes achieved in the GP access survey.

What do you think of the SHA? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter