Hospital's vision of the future

TODAY is a new day and a new dawn for Ipswich Hospital as they march to the forefront of health care.A bid for £24million to breathe new life into the site has been passed and now the journey is just beginning to make the hospital one of the forerunners of state of the art care.

By JESSICA NICHOLLS, health reporter

jessica.nicholls@eveningstar.co.uk

TODAY is a new day and a new dawn for Ipswich Hospital as they march to the forefront of health care.

A bid for £24million to breathe new life into the site has been passed and now the journey is just beginning to make the hospital one of the forerunners in state-of-the- art care.


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Today, Paul Forden, chief executive of the NHS Trust, revealed his vision of taking the hospital to the top of its field. He also spoke about what that means to the people that matter the most – the 400,000 people in the area who rely on the hospital for the best care, when they need it.

Getting the go-ahead from the Strategic Health Authority as reported in later editions of yesterday's Evening Star, was crucial for the hospital.

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Space is critically short at the Heath Road site. Thousands more people have to be treated every year to meet government targets, but with not enough beds to put them in, there would be no way of meeting them.

There are now huge changes on the way enabling an extra 13,500 people a year to be treated.

The new building will not be in operation until around 2005 but new temporary day surgeries to be built this year have also been given the go-ahead to help slash the waiting times now and to stop operations being cancelled because there are not enough beds.

It will be a challenge but Mr Forden said it is not just about a new building. It is about changing the way the whole hospital works.

He said: "Ipswich can become an exemplary hospital. It will be at the forefront as a district general hospital but also offering specialist services."

Since the last major expansion work at the hospital in 1976, life has changed dramatically, the population has grown and people's demands are far higher to be in and out of hospital as quickly as they can.

Seven years ago Mr Forden was working at the Trust as a deputy director of finance before moving to King's Hospital in London and then returning to Ipswich as Chief Executive in October.

At his first stint in Ipswich there was no such thing as trolley waits and not having enough beds as there was not the volume of people coming through the hospital.

New government targets state that by 2018 no one should have to wait more than two weeks for treatment. But Mr Forden knows they have to act now to reach those targets.

He said: "I don't think the growing population will give us that time."

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