New operating theatre to help reduce waiting lists at Ipswich Hospital

A new theatre is being opened at Ipswich Hospital.

A new theatre is being opened at Ipswich Hospital. - Credit: ESNEFT

A new operating theatre will open at Ipswich Hospital to help bring faster treatment to patients following a growth of waiting lists caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The theatre unit will be situated in an area of visitor car park F when it arrives in Ipswich next weekend, as part of a national programme to recover NHS waiting lists known as the national accelerator programme.

The Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System (which includes East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust) has been awarded £10million to bring faster treatment to patients.

It means a specialist theatre, clinical rooms and a recovery ward (together known as a vanguard theatre unit), will be added to the site.

Figures released under Freedom of Information laws found �653,392 was spent on medical locums employ

Ipswich Hospital is introducing a new operating theatre.

Part of car park F will be closed on Friday, July 17 for preparation work and the whole car park will be closed the following day (Saturday, July 18) as the theatre is safely put in place alongside the Outpatients building.

Much of the car park will then be reopened, and a number of standard car park spaces will be changed to disabled spaces. As less visitors are coming onto site there will be alternative spaces for visitor car parking.

Construction work to get the theatre ready will continue into early August. A temporary walkway will be created as parts of the footpath will be out of use, and the direction of traffic flow in the car park will change.

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The hospital trust said all changes will be clearly marked.

The vanguard theatre will be housed at Ipswich Hospital for a year, and initially it will be used by West Suffolk Hospital teams (also part of the local integrated care system) for three months and will then be used by ESNEFT teams for nine months.

Another important part of the accelerator programme at Ipswich Hospital is converting the seventh floor of the tower block (home mainly to maternity services) into a ward for extra beds for patients needing operations.