Watershed for NHS in Suffolk

EAST Suffolk's health trusts were today due to meet for the last time before sweeping changes are introduced to the structure of the NHS.From October 1 there will be a county-wide primary care trust (PCT) instead of the five smaller ones currently in existence, as part of a government drive to change the way health care is provided.

EAST Suffolk's health trusts were today due to meet for the last time before sweeping changes are introduced to the structure of the NHS.

From October 1 there will be a county-wide primary care trust (PCT) instead of the five smaller ones currently in existence, as part of a government drive to change the way health care is provided.

Today members of the three Suffolk East PCTs (Suffolk Coastal, Ipswich and Central Suffolk) were due to hold their last public board meeting in Kesgrave where they were to hear a review of the PCTs' last year in existence and receive the annual report.

The trust ended the last year with a £19.4m debt but is making progress at saving money and hopes to have this down to £10m by the end of this financial year.

From next week, the Suffolk East and Suffolk West PCTs will be merged to form a super-size Suffolk-wide organisation, led by Carole Taylor-Brown, the current chief executive of the trusts in the east.

The merger is expected to save at least 15 per cent of current management costs which will then be ploughed back in to patient care.

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The organisation will continue to operate from the current offices in Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich until January when it will move to newly-built, riverside accommodation in Bramford.

Tomorrow Ipswich Hospital's board will meet in public for the first time since plans to axe 350 jobs and close more than 70 beds were announced.

The board will be asked to approve the decisions and there is expected to be a large turn-out of anxious staff keen to find out the future of their jobs.

The hospital will also hold its annual general meeting in the afternoon.

The hospital's public board meeting will be held at 9am in the lecture theatre at the hospital's education centre.

The AGM will be held in the same place at 2.30pm.

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