Winter warmer for cold weather medics

STAFF at Ipswich Hospital were jubilant today as they welcomed a £24m cash boost that will create more space in which to care for the seriously ill.Health chiefs were today approved a £24million bid to overhaul the intensive care unit and to build a diagnostic treatment centre.

STAFF at Ipswich Hospital were jubilant today as they welcomed a £24m cash boost that will create more space in which to care for the seriously ill.

Health chiefs were today approved a £24million bid to overhaul the intensive care unit and to build a diagnostic treatment centre.

The building programme will help slash waiting times for patients and relieve the pressures the busy site Heath Road site.

Yet as they greeted this multi-million pound winter warmer, current cold and treacherous weather means frontline staff are coming under increasing pressure from road accidents, falls and other icy weather problems.


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Never was space more sorely needed.

The new critical care unit will ensure more space and privacy for patients and will bring state of the art care to east Suffolk, said Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for the hospital.

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She added that in the last week the hospital has been under huge pressure with a series of road accidents and the amount of medical admissions that have been coming in.

But she added that the staff at the hospital are managing the situation well. "Staff are coping magnificently. We have been really, really busy with medical admissions and January and February are the months with the most pressure.

"But we do not want to alarm people. We have been extremely busy but we are coping."

Health chiefs are also due to approve today another £3million to build temporary day surgery and an intermediary care unit at Ravenswood, which will help beat the problem of bedblockers.

A new 25-bed ward is also due to be opened in April as part of the hospital's battle to admit all patients that need treatment.

The bid was discussed today by the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Health Authority in Newmarket today as part of £50million that is being ploughed into the region's healthcare.

Also to be considered is a diagnostic and treatment centre for the James Paget Hospital, Gorleston.

Proposals for the diagnostic treatment and critical care centre for the Heath Road site have already been recommended for approval along with the plans for the temporary day surgery and the intermediary care centre.

* For a look at how the county braved snow and ice see pages 14 and 15.

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