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Government to blame for operation delays at West Suffolk Hospital, says Bury St Edmunds patient




A Bury St Edmunds man has launched a broadside at the Government after an operation he was due to have at West Suffolk Hospital was postponed twice in 12 months.

John Corrie, of Rushbrooke Lane, was meant to have the operation in June 2020 but it was postponed due to coronavirus.

It was rescheduled for July 23 this year, but on Tuesday, what happened to be John’s 75th birthday, a staff member from the hospital called to say the operation would be postponed again without a new date offered.

John Corrie's operation has been postponed twice in 12 months. Picture: Mark Westley.
John Corrie's operation has been postponed twice in 12 months. Picture: Mark Westley.

They said it was because remedial work was being carried out on the roof.

Latest available figures show 22,046 West Suffolk patients were waiting for their operations at the end of April. This included 4,140 for general surgery, 3,811 for trauma and orthopaedic and 2,485 for gynaecology.

John said he did not blame West Suffolk Hospital staff for the delays but the Government.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.
West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

“I wouldn’t like to suggest that I was critical of the hospital staff, but I am extremely critical of the Government funding that has let the hospital get into such an appalling state,” he said. “This is years of Tory cuts.”

“I think the hospital has been exemplary in the care that they have been able to give me and now are in an impossible situation with the fabric of the hospital falling to bits.”

John has also been in touch with Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, to voice his concern.

“I have written a letter to Jo Churchill but she will not do anything about that because she never does,” he said. “I regard her as the invisible MP.”

John has hit out at the Government whose cuts he blamed for the deterioration of West Suffolk Hospital. Mark Westley.
John has hit out at the Government whose cuts he blamed for the deterioration of West Suffolk Hospital. Mark Westley.

Jo Churchill’s office was approached for comment.

A West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said a ‘significant programme’ of maintenance work was being carried out at the hospital, which had faced ‘estate challenges’ with the roof for a number of years. Mitigations were being put in place, he said.

He said due to the remedial works, some services were being temporarily relocated to allow maintenance to take place.

Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mark Bullimore.
Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mark Bullimore.

He added a new 32-bed ward to provide additional capacity was expected to open in July.

He said: “Any delay to treatment is upsetting and we apologise to Mr Corrie for the postponement of his operation; we will be in touch with a new date as soon as we can.

"Our planned maintenance work is essential to keep the hospital safe for patients, visitors, and staff, and once complete we will have more theatre capacity available to help us care for Mr Corrie and other patients.”

It comes after the Care Quality Commission revealed in a report last week the maternity services at West Suffolk Hospital have improved, but more work is required.

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