Ruffley: "New figures prove we need an A & E at West Suffolk Hospital"

Tuesday, 18 September, 2007

David Ruffley MP has today released details of an investigation he has been conducting into attendances at West Suffolk Hospital's Accident & Emergency department since 1997.

Information obtained by David under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 revealed the following facts:

• Since 1997 attendances at the West Suffolk A & E department have increased by a massive 40 percent

• In 2006 over 45,000 people attended the department

• July has the most number of attendances each year

• The most common cause of attendance at the A & E department is a 'fall'- 3,133 people attended for this reason in 2006

David said:

'My investigation into attendances at the West Suffolk Hospital A & E Department underlines its crucial importance to our community in Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding areas.

'In total, a staggering 45,232 people attended the department in 2006. This is an increase of 40 percent on the number of people who attended the department in 1997.

'We need a high quality local A & E at the West Suffolk. Where else will these 45,000 people attend?

'Ipswich Hospital and Addenbrooke's Hospital are both over 29 miles from the West Suffolk- that is roughly a 40 minute journey and is the sort of distance that can cost lives.

'The most common cause of attendance at A & E is a fall. Over 3,000 people attended the A & E Department for this reason alone in 2006.

'Clearly it is the most vulnerable members of community such as the elderly and children who have the most to lose if the A & E Department at the West Suffolk is ever downgraded.

'The people of Suffolk hold their NHS in the highest regard and I will be fighting tooth and nail to keep a high quality A & E Department at the West Suffolk.'