Ipswich and Colchester hospitals expected to approve merger today
- Credit: Gregg Brown
More details have been revealed about how cash pledged to Ipswich Hospital as part a revolutionary NHS shake-up will be spent.
Board members will today make a final decision on landmark proposals to merge the organisation with Colchester Hospital to create the largest NHS trust in East Anglia.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has this week announced an £87 million investment to modernise health and care services in Suffolk and north-east Essex.
Of this grant, £69m is earmarked for the merger of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, which will together become East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.
Bosses at Ipswich Hospital have revealed they are planning to use the money to buy new diagnostic equipment for A&E, including a CT and MRI scanner.
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The cash will also see the hospital create more day case capacity and relocate some clinical services to improve patient experience.
This newspaper reported yesterday that Colchester’s emergency department will be completely overhauled thanks to the investment.
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The town’s MP Will Quince said this was “great news for the hospital and for Colchester”.
He added: “This will mean more patients being seen in a modern, appropriate setting.”
Members of the public are invited to attend the meeting today where board members will consider the full business case for the merger of the two trusts.
It will take place from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at Ipswich Corn Exchange.
The hospitals’ joint chairman David White will welcome everyone to the meeting ahead of a presentation from chief executive Nick Hulme.
There will be an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions, before the decision is taken by both hospital boards individually.
Mr Hulme said: “This is a very significant day for the people who use and work in the NHS in east Suffolk and north Essex.
“I believe it is genuinely a once in a lifetime opportunity to grasp the opportunities that a merger brings and do things differently.”
If agreed, the full business case will be considered by NHS regulators before being formally approved by Mr Hunt.
The hospitals could start working as one organisation from July this year.