Work begins on revamp of hospital children's department

Children's department sister Faye Button with six year old Scarlett and chief executive Nick Hulme

Children's department sister Faye Button with six-year-old Scarlett and chief executive Nick Hulme - Credit: ESNEFT

Building work has begun on a multi-million-pound project to transform the children's department at Ipswich Hospital. 

The £6.9million redevelopment scheme will see a new modern environment created, with improved facilities for patients, families and carers. 

As part of the project, the number of clinic spaces will be increased so that more children can attend appointments.

Additional side rooms – more of which will be en-suite – will also be available, while a new two-bedded high-dependency unit (HDU) bay will be created for patients who need intensive treatment.

The work will take place in phases, with the scheme due for completion next year.

Maya, six, with student teacher Jessica Read

Maya, six, with student teacher Jessica Read - Credit: ESNEFT

Dr Lauren Filby, clinical lead for paediatrics at Ipswich Hospital, said: “We are delighted that work has now started on this exciting project, which will transform the experience which our young patients and their families have when receiving treatment.

"The redevelopment will help us to create a modern, welcoming environment which matches the high standards of care which our staff provide.

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“We have worked closely with our patients and their families as we have developed the plans to make sure that the new-look department will meet their needs and look forward to watching work progress over the coming months.”

The project will also include moving the playroom to the heart of the ward, updating the garden and creating a sanctuary for teenagers. 

The paediatric assessment unit (PAU), where emergency cases are cared for, will be located much closer to the main ward, which will help staff work together effectively to look after acutely unwell children.

The extensive project is being jointly funded by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) and The Children’s Appeal, which is run by Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity.

The Children’s Appeal launched in 2018 and has been embraced by people in the county, as well as Suffolk pop superstar Ed Sheeran as well as farmer and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty.

Although the majority of the funding needed for the project has now been raised, the charity is asking for help to raise the final £43,000 needed to complete the transformation.

Work has started on Ipswich Hospital's children's department

Work has started on Ipswich Hospital's children's department - Credit: ESNEFT

Mandy Jordan, associate director of Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity, said: “Local people have really taken this appeal to their hearts, and we are incredibly grateful for all of the support we have received so far.

“The money which has been raised will make a real difference to young patients and their families by creating a state-of-the-art centre from which our hard-working staff can deliver a gold standard of care.”

The children’s department transformation is one of several major building projects currently taking place at Ipswich Hospital.

A new £23.1m emergency department, urgent treatment centre, surgical assessment unit and front entrance are also being created, while a new breast care centre is also being developed thanks to another partnership with Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity.

For more information about The Children’s Appeal, click here.