Ipswich Hospital throws open its doors

YOU would not necessarily associate a trip to the hospital with a fun day out - but a healthy dose of enjoyment has been prescribed next month.

YOU would not necessarily associate a trip to the hospital with a fun day out - but a healthy dose of enjoyment has been prescribed next month.

A team of doctors, nurses and other workers at Ipswich Hospital are teaming up to open doors which are usually closed and showcase the hospital's services at an Open Morning.

The event, on Saturday, 5 September, will include chances to try your hand at surgical skills in a state-of-the-art theatre, take guided tours, get health advice and have your blood pressure checked.

Although the hospital is a familiar sight to most, it has changed significantly over recent years. Visitors will be able to tour inside the new �26million Garrett Anderson treatment centre which opened last year and includes an intensive care unit, day surgery centre and the new Emergency Department.

Developments in healthcare will also be apparent in the Cancer Department where the very latest cancer-busting equipment and clinical trials will be on show.

The cancer centre is the only unit in the UK to deliver state-of-the-art image-guided radiotherapy on an everyday, routine basis and the multi-million pound equipment used will be on show.

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The Open Morning will be family friendly and car parking is free for the event to encourage the crowds.

Organiser Debbie Austin said: “The vast majority of local people will have visited the hospital at one time or another, but this gives them an opportunity to see things from a different perspective.

“We are hoping that crowds of visitors will join us as there will be activities for everyone, as well as stacks of information on offer.”

Other activities will include:

See robots at work in the Pharmacy

Take a guided tour of the 46 acre site and get a bird's eye view of the new mental health development

Learn skin care for the whole family

Turn you hand to injections and other nursing skills in the clinical skills centre

Speak to Chaplains inside the beautiful hospital Chapel

Use ultra violet technology to see how good you are at washing your hands

Learn how dialysis equipment works and about organ donation

Discover your artistic side and help create a masterpiece to be displayed in the hospital

Get healthy diet tips and measure you body mass index (BMI)

Meet midwives and see their recipe book, truly scrumptious

Speak to a matron about the latest swine flu advice

Chief Executive Andrew Reed said: “Local people have a very strong sense of support for the hospital and we hope lots of people will attend and make this event a real success.

“So much good work goes on in this hospital everyday and this is a great opportunity to share it with the wider community.”

Patients will also be at the event to meet and greet visitors, giving accounts of their experiences and explaining ways everyone can get involved in the running of the hospital.

Healthy brunches and refreshments will be available in the Courtyard Restaurant and dieticians will on-hand with top healthy eating tips and games.

People attending the open morning can pick up information and maps on the day from the hospital's Outpatients Entrance (Entrance 6) from 9am to 1pm.

All under 16s must be accompanied by an adult at the event.

Around 8,000 patients, visitors and staff are at the hospital every day.

Visitors to the Open Morning will hear how they have just days left to have a say in an unprecedented hospital consultation.

The future of the hospital is currently under the spotlight with people being asked to speak out about what is important to them. And the 12-week consultation ends on September 8.

The consultation has come as the hospital seeks to become a foundation trust. Foundation trusts are still part of the NHS but their future is driven more by local people and less by the Department of Health.

The consultation is an important part of the foundation trust process. The hospital is asking for views on its plans for the next five years including expanding cancer services, becoming a University Hospital and developing a new neonatal unit.

It is also seeking views on proposed governance arrangements, which include having a council of governors from the worlds of healthcare, local government, charity and education.

Staff from the hospital's foundation trust team will be at the Open Morning to answer questions.

To comment on the consultation visit www.ipswichhospital.nhs.uk/foundationtrust or call 01473 704769 for an information booklet.