Will Ipswich Hospital’s £2.5m urgent care centre bid be approved? Commissioners are warned of uncertainty
- Credit: Archant
Health commissioners have been warned that the anticipated funding to support Suffolk’s largest A&E department may not become available.
Ipswich Hospital asked NHS England for £2.5million to build a new urgent care centre (UCC) last autumn to help ease the demands on its under-pressure A&E department.
It had been hoped that an announcement would have been made within a “few weeks” of the bid’s submission.
However, the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is supporting the hospital, reported this week that no offer had yet been made.
John Oates, the integrated care lead, told a meeting of the CCG’s governing body on Tuesday that NHS England had not been in contact.
“We may not get all of the money, if any,” he added.
A report presented to the meeting said that while work continued to develop what the UCC “could look like”, the anticipated savings would not be made this financial year.
- 1 Look inside stunning £950k home close to Christchurch Park in Ipswich
- 2 Take a look inside 15th Century farmhouse near Ipswich up for sale
- 3 A14 reopens after 'serious' crash involving three lorries
- 4 A12 partially reopens after crash near Copdock Interchange
- 5 Motorist angry over £100 'fine' at Ipswich car park
- 6 BrewDog, The Botanist and other reasons to be positive about Ipswich town centre
- 7 5 roadworks in Suffolk for motorists to avoid this week
- 8 Jailed in Suffolk: The county's criminals locked up in the last week
- 9 Tattingstone 'suitcase murder': 'Never too late' say police on 55th anniversary
- 10 Lorry overturns on A14 roundabout in Felixstowe
Meanwhile, the hospital has been trialling GPs working within A&E to support triage, over the challenging winter months.
If the funding is approved, a new triage system would be introduced, bringing an end to patients turning up at A&E to seek treatment.
Currently, around a quarter of all patients checking-in to A&E could be more appropriately treated by other departments.
Under the new system, other than those brought in by ambulance, patients would be expected to check-in at a triage centre where staff would direct them to the most appropriate department.
A hospital spokesman, speaking after the bid was submitted, said: “There’s a lot of research that shows having a busy emergency department leads to poorer patient outcomes.
“When we look at the most successful hospitals and the top- performing organisations in terms of quality care, they tend to follow this model.”
The UCC would be built either adjoining or next to the A&E department.
It would treat conditions such as sprains and strains, broken bones, minor burns or animal bites, leaving the A&E department free to deal with only the most serious emergencies, such as severe bleeding, loss of consciousness or chest pains.