David Ruffley - MP for Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Needham Market

What The Local Papers Say About David

Anger over ward closure plan

Bury Free Press,4 June 2004

THE closure of a hospital ward, which cares for elderly patients, has sparked an outcry from a leading MP.
Health bosses at West Suffolk Hospital agreed last Friday to phase out the
33-bed G6 ward over the next three months.
They claim there is no longer a need to have so many beds and want to move towards a more community-led care system.
But the decision has been greeted with bemusement by MP David Ruffley, who has questioned the sense behind the move.
A study two years ago showed Suffolk as having the sixth worst figure in the country for bed-blocking.
And Mr Ruffley, who is the MP for Bury and Stowmarket, has warned that the move to close so many beds could end in disaster.
"I thought the idea of ploughing so much money and resources into the NHS was to increase capacity, not reduce it," he said.
"We want to know that there is the care and provision and enough of it to look after the elderly and infirm in our community.
"It appears to me that the hospital is tackling the problem from the wrong angle you don't solve
bed-blocking by cutting beds.
"I am not accusing the hospital of being stupid, but it does seem to be a case of simple arithmetic and I fear it could end in disaster."

The proposal to close the ward was put forward after several reviews identified the hospital as having too many patients in rehabilitation beds.
It is now expected that G6 will be gradually phased out and its services re-located to the Integrated Care Unit in G8.
A hospital spokesman said the new approach would see more patients treated at home or in care homes.
"The advantage for the patient is that they will
not get stuck in a bed
and institutionalised for a long period of time," he said.
"The system for treating delayed transfers of care is now coping a lot better and will mean more people can be treated outside the hospital.
"This will mean they can be cared for at home or in community settings while allowing them to have
the independence they deserve."