Hospital improvement - delay on decision

DECISIONS over whether Ipswich Hospital will be given the go-ahead for a £25million improvement scheme have been put off until January.Bosses at the board were supposed to be informed today as to whether the bid had been successful but the decision has now been postponed.

By Jessica Nicholls

DECISIONS over whether Ipswich Hospital will be given the go-ahead for a £25million improvement scheme have been put off until January.

Bosses at the board were supposed to be informed today as to whether the bid had been successful but the decision has now been postponed.

The decision was delayed by the Strategic Health Authority because other NHS Trusts in the region were not ready with their bids and the SHA wanted to consider all bids together.


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However Paul Forden, chief executive at Ipswich Hospital said he was still confident that the bid will get the go ahead from the Strategic Health Authority.

He said: "Very positive noises are being made."

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In the meantime other plans have to be put in place for the Trust to be able to cut down waiting times across the hospital.

If the bid is given the go-ahead it could take up to three years to build and Mr Forden said that something had to be done in the meantime to be able to cut waiting lists as 1500 extra patients have to be treated next year to hit Government targets.

Another bid is now being put in to create a single day surgery on site where patients can be treated and then go home on the same day, enabling more operations to be carried out on any one day.

By next year both inpatient and outpatient cases must be seen within nine months – the current target is 15 months.

Yesterday the Evening Star revealed that waiting times to see patients with suspected cancer had been dramatically reduced and was almost in line with Government targets that say everyone should be seen within two weeks.

Waits for CT scans have also been halved from 11 weeks to five weeks.

If the £25million bid is accepted a new critical care unit is to be built along with diagnostic centres, creating up to 40 more beds for the hospital.

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