Suffolk

Broken lift at NHS-owned facility in Ipswich a 'disgrace'

Bluebell Lodge Community Hospital
Image caption The lift has been broken at Bluebell Lodge Community Hospital for more than two months.

A couple who have been married for more than 60 years have been unable to see each other for nine weeks because of a broken lift at an NHS-owned facility.

The only lift at Bluebird Lodge Community Hospital in Ipswich has been out of action since 6 June.

It has left 28 patients stuck on the first and second floors.

Jane Scoggins, of Ipswich, whose mother has been at the facility since May, said it was a "disgrace".

"It's very, very frustrating. Mum gets very down because she can't actually move out of the room and it is frustrating because we can't take dad to see her," she said.

"Dad's in a different care home and is too frail to use the stairs. He's got dementia and can't understand why he can't see his wife.

"Each time you go, you think it's going to be sorted but it's not."

'Totally unacceptable'

The Mansbrook Boulevard facility, built 11 years ago, includes an inpatient unit and a range of clinics for outpatients.

The beds are used to care for patients who need rehabilitation, management of long-term conditions and end of life care.

Since the lift has been out of action, ambulance staff have had to ferry some of the patients up and down by using a carry chair or a four-man crew and stretchers.

Paul Fenton, director of estates at Ipswich Hospital, which runs the facility on behalf of NHS Property Services, said the parts to fix the lift were ordered from Germany and arrived on Tuesday.

He said: "We are really sorry this has happened and apologise for any distress and inconvenience this has caused for patients and their families.

"The situation is totally unacceptable and we've been trying to resolve it with NHS Property Services for some time."

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