Progress on university's £13m health and wellbeing quarter
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Work is underway to create a £13m health and wellbeing quarter in Ipswich to bring about the next generation of health and social care professionals.
The University of Suffolk has seen a surge in applications for health courses and is transforming its former East building into a state-of-the-art-centre to open next spring.
The new health quarter will also host health services members of the public can use such as Suffolk Mind services and physiotherapy – a key part of the university’s pledge to have a community impact.
Dr Paul Driscoll-Evans, dean of the School of Health and Sports Sciences, said: “We have seen a 25% increase in applications for health courses this year and expect the new facilities at the Health and Wellbeing Quarter will attract students from far afield as well as locally.
"We expect some of this increase is down to the pandemic and the appreciation that has been shown for the NHS. Also, and I speak from experience, a career in health is a very rewarding one.
"Not only do you make a difference on a daily basis, you have a supportive team and there are many ways to progress in your career.”
The University of Suffolk's aim through the centre is to grow its provision and train around 600 nurses, 150 paramedics, 180 midwives, 170 radiographers and 75 physiotherapists every year.
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The university will offer physiotherapy for the first time from next September at the centre.
The building will house two floors of brand-new clinical simulation facilities, two state-of-the-art hospital wards, a midwifery birthing unit, a new sports and exercise facility.
It will also be the home of the Integrated Care Academy – a tie-up between the university, NHS partners and Suffolk County Council to improve patient care and achieve better clinical services.
Aside from its own funding, the University of Suffolk received £4m from LEP's Getting Building Fund and £2.5m from the NHS towards the centre.
A further £2.5m is expected to go towards the project from the government's town fund.
The project has sourced 75% of its materials from Suffolk with works being carried out by contractors from the region including KLH Architects, Superstructures and Castons.