New look for Ipswich casualty department

Details of Ipswich Hospital's new critical care centre which should revolutionise accident and emergency services by 2006 have been revealed today.The artist's impression of how the much-needed critical care centre will look, is the latest stage in the changing face of healthcare in Suffolk.

THIS is the sight which will greet patients entering Ipswich Hospital's new critical care centre when it opens in 2006.

The artist's impression of how the much-needed critical care centre will look, is the latest stage in the changing face of healthcare in Suffolk.

It has been revealed as bosses also draft a £9.2m capital programme – the largest embarked on by the hospital in over a decade – including a local angiography service and temporary day case unit.

The new centre is designed to replace the outdated, cramped intensive care unit at the hospital, which has the area's highest rate of cancelled major operations due to lack of critical care beds.


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In 2002/2003 it is predicted that Ipswich Hospital will cancel 920 elective operations due to a lack of beds.

The hospital has only six intensive care beds and four lower level 'high dependency' beds at the moment, and the space per bed is half what it should be which can lead to infections being passed on.

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A quarter of patients have booked elective surgery cancelled at least once because there are no free beds, and 95pc of patients enter critical care beds after coming in as emergencies.

The new centre will house nine intensive care beds and eight high dependency beds, and bring many other benefits for patients and staff.

At a hospital board meeting yesterday , directors discussed the care centre's outline business case, which director of strategy and service improvement Debbie Oades said was due to be presented to members of Ipswich Primary Care Trust.

She said: "The project is being funded by the Private Finance Initiative so we will be finding private partners by tender, in August.

"The Planned Treatment and Critical Care Centre will be open in December 2006 at the latest, depending on the builders."

She added: "Everything is running according to plan."

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