Centre has been plagued with problems

THE £26million critical care centre at Ipswich Hospital, named after England's first woman doctor, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who was brought up in Suffolk, has been plagued with problems since its construction began.

THE £26million critical care centre at Ipswich Hospital, named after England's first woman doctor, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who was brought up in Suffolk, has been plagued with problems since its construction began.

The centre is the biggest development at the hospital since it was created in the early 1970s.

In October 2007, The Evening Star reported that not all the beds would be opened when the building of the centre was completed in January. It was thought that out of the six resuscitation beds in A&E, only three would open. One accident and emergency consultant feared overcrowding with people waiting on trolleys. The hospital claimed it would open more as demand grew.

However a serious water leak in the building and problems with electrical equipment and ventilation systems all caused major delays, meaning the opening was put off. This also had an impact on other areas of the hospital, putting it at risk of failing to hit targets for waiting times.

The date for opening was put back after the building flooded, damaged equipment and resulted in two control panels needing to be sent to America for testing. The delays put an extra strain on staff who were battling to meet treatment time targets but did not have the extra day-surgery places for which they had planned.