Colchester: Hospital opens �20m extension

PATIENTS at an Essex hospital can now make the most of brand new facilities following the opening of a �20million extension.

The new unit at Colchester General Hospital, which includes an updated children’s ward, is now fully open and operational after nearly a year of building work.

The �20m project marks the biggest investment in the hospital’s facilities since it was opened in 1985. The official opening was celebrated yesterday.

Dr Gordon Coutts, chief executive of the hospital trust, said: “It is a tremendously positive development for acute hospital care in north east Essex, resulting in state-of-the-art facilities for patients, staff and visitors.

“Children’s services were relocated there from the ground floor of the original hospital building last month and the first floor, which consists of a 32-bed surgical ward and an elective care centre, went into service at the weekend.

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“Building work began only in the spring so it is exceptionally gratifying for this major development to be fully functioning as we go into what can traditionally be the busiest time of year for hospitals.”

The unit has a 28-bed ward, outpatients’ department, acute referral unit and an elective care unit where day case procedures like blood transfusions can be carried out.

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Children’s services have also been much improved with a teenagers’ lounge, play and dining room, a school room with outdoor play area and a bigger parents’ room.

The 5,600 sq metre extension has also freed up space for the Turner Road hospital to expand its Accident and Emergency department and relocate some services from Essex County Hospital.

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