Major Ipswich Hospital A&E revamp set for green light
- Credit: KLH ARCHITECTS
Major expansion plans at Ipswich Hospital – including a new A&E – are to be given the green light next week.
East Suffolk and North East Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) unveiled the £25million plan in the summer for a new emergency department, as well as proposals for extensions and alterations to the south wards and emergency assessment unit, revamped bus routes, relocated ambulance entrance and south ward entrance.
The plans are set to go before Ipswich Borough Council's planning committee on Wednesday next week, where officers have recommended it gets approval.
In their report, the planning officers said: "The proposals represent necessary healthcare infrastructure associated with a key healthcare facility that serves East Suffolk.
"The proposal is therefore considered to comply with relevant planning policies seeking to promote essential community facilities."
In its submission, Ipswich Conservation and Design Panel added: "It was agreed that these proposals would improve the function of the hospital.
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"The existing buildings are not particularly attractive, and the design of the proposals reflect the architectural treatment of the more successful Garrett Anderson block."
The proposals effectively mean the A&E will move to where it was originally - where the fracture clinic is now.
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It will cater for an estimated 50,000 patients, with health chiefs hopeful the new facility will reduce waiting times and improve the quality of care.
If approved, construction is expected to begin in the spring ahead of a planned completion in September 2022.
Nick Hulme, chief executive of the foundation trust, said: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a significant investment in the health and wellbeing of the people in our area.
"In the spring of 2018, our organisation was awarded £69.3m in support of the merger of Colchester and Ipswich hospital trusts to fund infrastructure improvements.
"We have spent this year developing our five-year strategy and plans to use this money to provide significant benefits to our patients, their families and carers.
"Our strategy outlines developments in both urgent and emergency care and also the reconfiguration of elective clinical services, which is where we expect to spend the bulk of the £69.3m."