State-of-the-art revamp of Ipswich Hospital's childrens' ward approved
- Credit: ESNEFT
Multi-million pound plans for a revamp of Ipswich Hospital to create a new "state-of-the-art" childrens' ward have been given the green light.
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which manages the hospital, has hailed Ipswich Borough Council's decision to approve the scheme as "fantastic news" which will "transform the experience" of young patients.
Ipswich Hospital announced plans for a revamp of its young people's department in February 2018 after realising its “drab and dated” facilities were not fit for purpose in the 21st century.
ESNEFT said the layout of the ward was "making it increasingly difficult for our staff to continue delivering high quality, compassionate care".
The project is being jointly funded by ESNEFT and The Children’s Appeal, which is being run by Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity.
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A fundraising initiative for the ward was launched in 2018 and has attracted nearly £650,000 so far in donations - including from superstar Ed Sheeran and farmer and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty.
The appeal is now looking to raise a final £205,000 so that work on the project can begin.
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Included in the scheme are plans to double the six existing clinic rooms, as well as adding dedicated spaces for diabetes, cystic fibrosis and physiotherapy.
The first artists' impressions of the proposed revamp of the ward were released by ESNEFT in November.
Dr Lauren Filby, clinical lead for paediatrics at Ipswich Hospital, said: "This is fantastic news and another major step forward for this exciting project, which will transform the experience which young patients and their families have when receiving treatment.
"The project will allow us to create a modern, calming environment which matches the high standards of care our patients already receive while also significantly improving the facilities which are available."
Mandy Jordan, associate director of Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity, added: "The charity is hugely proud to be a partner in this exciting project and would like to thank everyone who has so generously supported our appeal so far.
"All the money raised and donated will go towards creating a state-of-the-art centre from which our hard-working staff can deliver a gold standard of care for all of our young patients."