Hospital bid to replace electrics

URGENT work is needed to prevent serious electrical problems at Ipswich Hospital, it emerged today.

URGENT work is needed to prevent serious electrical problems at Ipswich Hospital, it emerged today.

The hospital wants to spend more than �3.6million improving its outdated electrics which it fears could put services at risk if power supply is hit.

Emergency generators at the hospital have failed in the past because of increasing demands on the electricity infrastructure due to more equipment being used on site, and the hospital has been forced to rely on mobile generators.

The hospital board had pledged to fix the problem in January 2007 but was told by the Strategic Health Authority its initial scheme was too costly.

Tomorrow the hospital's board is due to consider a new proposal to spend just over �1m on the pressing issue straight away, rising to �3.6m in total.

Experts believe they have identified weaknesses with the whole site's electrical infrastructure which leaves a risk of interruption to supplies in key clinical areas.

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The new plans would see the hospital's emergency standby generators, and eventually its total electricity infrastructure, improved.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, said: “This is a hospital which is the size of a small town, around 8,000 people on the site every day, and the buildings had become of an age that meant this on going maintenance was needed.

“It is a very big project. The first scheme wasn't affordable but we've gone back and worked on it.

“In the mean time we've minimised the risk of problems by using mobile generators.”

Does more need to be done to improve the infrastructure at Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.