Ruffley in High Level Talks at West Suffolk Hospital on Hydro Pool and Hearing Aid Services for His Constituents

Wednesday, 3 December, 2003

David Ruffley has called a high level meeting at West Suffolk Hospital on Friday, 5th December. He will be meeting John Parkes, Chief Executive of the Hospital, at 10.30 a.m. to discuss hospital services which are under threat.

First on the agenda will be the progress made on plans for the possible re-opening of the hydrotherapy pool at West Suffolk Hospital which has now been closed for over two years. At present there is nowhere in the area where patients can go for hydro-therapy which is of great benefit to many patients. David is supporting the campaign by the West Suffolk Hydro-Care Group to re-open the pool or to provide suitable facilities elsewhere in West Suffolk. The Group has recently commissioned a survey which reveals that the cost of the work needed to re-open the pool is well over the original estimate of £100,000.

'Now we have the figures, we need to know the Hospital's attitude towards re-opening the pool' said David. 'Is their refusal to re-open purely financial or do they have some objection in principle to hydro-therapy? We need to know if they are willing to provide funding, allow the pool to be repaired with funding from elsewhere and if they are willing to provide a physiotherapist for hydro-therapy sessions in another community facility. I continue to support the campaign to provide hydro-therapy for my constituents but we need to know where we stand.'

Also up for discussion at the meeting on Friday is the provision of a digital hearing aid service at West Suffolk Hospital. The service has been up and running for some time but is likely to reach gridlock if additional space at the hospital cannot be found in the near future.

David said: 'The Audiology Department has been told that plans to provide extra space will not be considered until the next financial year. I will be pressing John Parkes to provide at least a temporary solution to this problem in the meantime to enable my constituents to benefit from this excellent new service which has proved so popular. I do not want its success to be its downfall.'