Next step for Ipswich Hospital as proposals reach planners for decision
PUBLISHED: 07:31 16 August 2019
The £25million revamp of Ipswich Hospital has moved a step closer with a planning application being formally submitted.
Health chiefs at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) laid out their vision for the site last month, headlined by a new A&E and urgent care department.
Alongside the A&E and urgent treatment plans, changes are also to be made to entrances for the south wards and ambulances, as well as a revamped bus loop and drop-off zone.
The trust has now formally submitted a bid for planning permission to Ipswich Borough Council, which will likely go before planners from October.
Speaking at the unveiling of the proposals in July, chief executive Nick Hulme said: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a significant investment in the health and wellbeing of people in our area."
According to a planning statement submitted by Lawson Planning Partnership on behalf of the hospital trust, the plans are not expected to generate any significant increase in patient numbers or number of trips to the site by patients.
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It added: "The development proposals represent healthcare infrastructure to support and improve the efficient running of the hospital.
"The scheme would improve services, care and experience for patients, visitors and staff.
"The proposed extension and alterations have been well designed and would better integrate services across the hospital site to provide for accessible and functional healthcare facilities that are suitable within the surrounding hospital context."
The new A&E and urgent treatment centre will be an extension to where the fracture clinic is now, with updated equipment such as CT and MRI scanners.
The hospital trust was awarded £69.3m in early 2018 to help aid the merger between Ipswich and Colchester hospital trusts.
Around £24.8m of that is being used on the new facilities, with £2m on a new MRI scanner for the Ipswich facility.
The revamp in Colchester is largely being funded by private investment, but the internal A&E upgrade is set to cost around £7.5m.