Hospital shows off its new look

WHAT a transformation!It was once the Felixstowe General, a very traditional, much-loved and excellent health facility, and now it's Felixstowe Community Hospital, a light and airy, ultra-modern health centre waiting to serve the resort even better in the 21st century.

WHAT a transformation!

It was once the Felixstowe General, a very traditional, much-loved and excellent health facility, and now it's Felixstowe Community Hospital, a light and airy, ultra-modern health centre waiting to serve the resort even better in the 21st century.

But not all the past is being wiped away.

During the £1.76 million refurbishment and extension project, builders uncovered one of the original footstones lying face down in an overgrown area.


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Now the stone - the faded engraving of which announces the Croydon Cottage Hospital for the people of Felixstowe and Walton, 1910 - is to be the centrepiece of a new £10,000 landscaped garden paid for by the family of Charles Croydon, who built the hospital.

Mr Croydon created the hospital in Constable Road after a friend of his died because he could not be taken to Ipswich Hospital in time.

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The main aim of the new community hospital will be to treat as many people from the Felixstowe area in its treatment rooms, 16 beds, minor injuries unit, x-ray department, minor operations suite, and clinics as possible to save them travelling up the A14.

Builders R G Carter have taken ten months to do the refurbishment, including a complete reorganisation of the inside - very little is still recognisable from the General - with new extensions and a lift to open up the use of the first floor.

Martin Royal, Suffolk Primary Care Trust's programme director for business development, said everyone was thrilled with the result and looking forward to the opening.

“Carters have done a fantastic job and we are very excited by what we now have - a modern community hospital for Felixstowe which will be of great benefit to the population here,” he said.

“There has been a huge investment in new equipment, furnishings, networked CCTV and nurse-call systems, security, and the building is light and friendly, with plenty of storage.

“It's going to be a quite buzzy sort of hospital, and we will be keeping clinics under constant review to make sure they are well-used.”

A new reception has been created so visitors no longer walk into face a wall but a person, and the minor injuries unit has separate treatment areas for adults and children, paid for thanks to an Evening Star appeal with the décor designed with the help of youngsters.

Wards range from one-bed to five-bed and are named with Felixstowe connections - Trinity, Kingsfleet, Brackenbury, The Grove, Ferry, Trinity, Walton and Cavendish.

“The one-bed wards allow us to provide patients with privacy and dignity, and also to contain any outbreak of infection or to place people with a contagious illness or disease,” said Mr Royal.

“Some people prefer more communal living and so will like larger wards, other may want to be on their own. It gives us the flexibility to do either.”

A new day room and dining area have been provided downstairs, while upstairs is devoted to treatment of muscular-skeletal problems, while the old board room has become a physio gym, plus offices for the community care teams.

Do you feel Felixstowe now has adequate health services for the 21st century? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: Felixstowe Community Hospital

From Monday January 28 at 9am the day and treatment team will open.

On January 29 from 8am, the physiotherapists' outpatients' department opens.

The minor injuries unit will open, along with inpatients, at 7am on January 30. The MIU will in future open from 8am to 10pm daily.

The Bartlet Hospital will shut on January 31. There will be an official opening of the new Felixstowe Community Hospital on February 1.

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