Ruffley underlines consultants fears over the future of Ipswich Hospital

Friday, 24 July, 2009

David Ruffley MP has this week spoken out in support of the consultants at Ipswich Hospital who are concerned about the future of the hospital and services that are being stripped from it.

Over the past few weeks David, along with his Conservative Party colleagues Ben Gummer, John Gummer, Sir Michael Lord and Tim Yeo, has been campaigning for a PPCI centre to be established at Ipswich Hospital. Following massive pressure from the public, press and local politicians, a review of the SHA's proposals to move emergency heart attack care outside the county was conducted by Professor Boyle. His recommendations will now see the provision of a PPCI centre at Ipswich Hospital investigated- a result thought impossible before this campaign.

However, experts remain concerned about the SHA's vision for the hospital and the removal of key services, not least maxillofacial surgery, pancreatic cancer treatment and services for diabetes patients.

David said:

'Like the experts at Ipswich Hospital I welcome Professor Boyle's recommendations that may still see PPCI at Ipswich Hospital. However, I share their concern that the SHA may not be committed to seeing the level of service at Ipswich Hospital that the nurses, doctors, patients and local representatives so desperately want to see.

'This is all about wanting the best possible health care serving Ipswich Hospital's catchment area, which includes my constituents in Stowmarket and Needham Market. As it stands, were are seeing the gradual salami slicing of services from Ipswich Hospital and local people, quite rightly, do not want to be forced to travel outside the county for treatment.

'The SHA's approach to Ipswich Hospital is imposing a postcode lottery on healthcare in Suffolk. Those parts of the county who naturally look to Ipswich are finding themselves distant from services that people living in Cambridge, Norwich or Basildon have within easy reach.

'This isn't a small town in an isolated rural community- this is a rapidly growing town with a population of over 121,000 people and a hospital that serves a huge portion of Suffolk. We should be talking about new services at the Ipswich Hospital and what more it can do to serve local people rather than fighting announcement after announcement that points to a steady downgrading of the facilities there.

'Achieving Foundation Trust status is an ambitious target for Ipswich Hospital and they have my unstinting support in pursuing it. We need lofty targets for Ipswich Hospital, we need to strive for the best possible facilities serving our local community and, most of all, we need an SHA that shares these aspirations.

'Therefore, I am asking the Strategic Health Authority and NHS Suffolk to agree to the demands of the consultants at Ipswich Hospital and publish a 10 year plan setting out their vision for the hospital.'