Work starts on new health centre

THE FIRST step towards modernising health services in Ipswich has been taken.Ipswich mayor Penny Breakwell dug the first pieces of earth on the site where the multi-million pound Ravenswood intermediary care centre will be built.

THE FIRST step towards modernising health services in Ipswich has been taken.

Ipswich mayor Penny Breakwell dug the first pieces of earth on the site where the multi-million pound Ravenswood intermediary care centre will be built.

The building will ease the pressure on bed availability at Ipswich Hospital and will also help people who need treatment and care but do not require hospital attention.

Costing around £4.2 million, the centre will consist of three four-bedroom flats and 20 en-suite bedrooms.


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On site will be a day care, a physiotherapy gym, occupational therapists and support services.

The centre should be ready for use by 2005 and will help the current nursing home problem where there are not enough beds in Suffolk to take people from Ipswich Hospital.

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Lilian Power, chairwoman of the Ipswich Primary Care Trust, who head the project, said: "This is the beginning of a new future in social and health care in Ipswich.

"It has been four or five years in the making but it is worth it and will carry on being worth it.

"It will have an enormous impact and will provide an effective link between the hospital and primary and secondary care."

She describes the new centre as "the first step of modernisation in Ipswich" that will eventually include a number of "one-stop shops" where regional surgeries will provide a number of services currently only available at hospital.

John Mowles, a councillor in nearby Gainsborough, said: "This will be welcomed very much and it is a great asset for people to use.

"It will have all the most up to date equipment and is a much needed amenity. I am sure it will be appreciated."

Ipswich MP Chris Mole added: "It is something that I was pressing the strategic health authority for almost from the day I was elected. It will be a great building but the important thing is the care it will offer.

"It is absolutely critical if you think of the costs of keeping people in hospital when they should not be there."

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