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Thursday, January 03, 2008


epetition reply 3 January 2008

We received a petition asking:

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to reverse the decision on the closure of The Bartlet Convalescent Home in East Suffolk."

Details of Petition:
"This convalescent home was left to the people of East Suffolk as a necessary restorative premise's to lighten the load on Ipswich and East Suffolk hospitals, this need is even greater today than it was in 1947 when it was originally bequeathed. This Grade 11 listed building has a book value of £3.2m and has been put on the market for £1.9m. Suffolk PCT propose to deliver care in the home and whilst this is appropriate for some people it definitely is not for a large number. Once this facility has been sold off- it can never be replaced. THIS FACILITY IS DESPARATELY NEEDED."

Read the Government's response

The Government's aim is for NHS and social care to be fully integrated and to be provided as close to people's homes as possible, avoiding whenever possible the need for people to travel long distances for services that could just as easily be delivered locally. Our proposals for the future of local community services are to achieve a workable balance between the most efficient use of clinical resources and the maintenance of services that are most convenient to people.

The Government made it clear in the White Paper Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services that decisions on the long-term future of existing community hospitals should not be made solely in response to short-term budgetary pressures. The Government have told Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) that all Primary Care Trust (PCT) proposals for changes to community hospitals must be consistent with the long-term strategy of the White Paper to move care closer to patients' homes, and to ensure that local people have been properly consulted.

PCTs, with their broad perspective across hospital, community and primary care, are best placed to make decisions about the provision of local services in consultation with local people and their SHAs.

The decision to close the Bartlet Hospital was agreed by the then Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt. Any decision to close a hospital or care home is not taken lightly. The decision to close the Bartlet followed a full period of consultation undertaken by Suffolk PCT, and is in line with the PCT's strategy to develop community based care.

The Government has been advised that services will continue to be provided at the Bartlet Hospital until early next year, when services will then transfer to the refurbished Felixstowe General Hospital.



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