Permission sought for hospital revamp

IPSWICH Hospital's £25million revamp is due to come under the spotlight today.The scheme for the new planned treatment and critical care centre was due to be discussed by Ipswich Borough Council planning officials.

IPSWICH Hospital's £25million revamp is due to come under the spotlight today.

The scheme for the new planned treatment and critical care centre was due to be discussed by Ipswich Borough Council planning officials.

Planning permission is being sought to build a four-storey diagnostic treatment centre at the Heath Road site, to meet the growing demands for hospital beds and services.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for the hospital, said: "Over the last ten years officials from the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust have been planning to build more facilities on the site but this proposal is the first for such a massive expansion."

The plans have been recommended for approval by Ipswich Borough Council's planning and development committee, subject to a number of conditions to do with landscaping.

Another concern is the lack of parking. The planned site for the new development is currently a staff car park and its 64 spaces will have to be added to two existing staff car parks nearby.

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More patients, staff and visitors once the development is built will mean extra pressure on the already difficult car parking situation. The trustees recognise that plans for a multi-storey car park will have to be submitted at a further planning stage.

As the Star has reported, the new building will house a short-stay surgery centre and day surgery with four day-case theatres and 70 more beds, 30 for day cases and 40 for short stay. Day case surgery will be a priority with 90 per cent of people being treated within one day enabling them to go home quicker.

A pre-admission centre will prepare patients for their operations and there will be specialist clinics and diagnostic areas including X-ray and pathology. A further 72 emergency care beds will be created.

The Accident and Emergency department will be extended so that major and minor injuries can be treated in separate places, and children can be treated separately.

An ophthalmic and cataract treatment centre will be created and a ward will be available for use when others are busy or out of use. There will eventually be single sex wards and rooms with en suite bathrooms for more convenience and privacy.

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