New multi-million pound hospital unit moves step closer

Work is starting on Colchester Hospital's new specialist centre for cardiac and radiology procedures

Work is starting on Colchester Hospital's new specialist centre for cardiac and radiology procedures Picture: ESNEFT - Credit: ESNEFT

Work to build a £7million state-of-the-art specialist centre for cardiac and radiology procedures will soon be under way at Colchester Hospital.

How the new IRCA centre at Colchester Hospital will look when built Picture: ESNEFT

How the new IRCA centre at Colchester Hospital will look when built Picture: ESNEFT - Credit: Archant

Patients will be able to be treated more quickly in the new combined interventional radiology and cardiac angiography (IRCA) unit.

Building work can now start on the Turner Road site after planning permission was granted this week.

Neill Moloney, managing director at the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs Colchester Hospital, said: "This is an essential clinical facility bringing together two departments in a dedicated, fully equipped unit, which will replace some of our existing outdated buildings and equipment. It will mean we can provide a more effective service with improved accessibility for both our staff and patients."

MORE: Plans take shape for new orthopaedic centre - but will it be in Colchester or Ipswich?The news comes amid a huge transformation of the Colchester Hospital site, which has been under way since the summer.

Neill Moloney, managing director and deputy chief executive at Ipswich Hospital. Picture: ANDY ABBOT

Neill Moloney, managing director and deputy chief executive at Ipswich Hospital. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

Earlier this month new outlets Costa, WH Smith and M&S opened their doors to the public for the first time, as part of a multi-million pound revamp to the hospital's entrance. The new urgent treatment centre, next to A&E, began treating patients in October.

In June it was announced ESNEFT had set aside a £34million pot of cash for a new orthopaedics centre - part of a £65million investment - with the aim of shortening waiting times for patients and reducing cancellations.


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However, it is not clear yet if it will be at Ipswich or Colchester, with a public consultation into the proposals due in the spring.

Another £25million is being invested into proposals for a new A&E department at Ipswich Hospital.

What the unit currently looks like Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIX LTD

What the unit currently looks like Picture: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIX LTD - Credit: WARREN PAGE/PAGEPIX LTD

MORE: Revealed - First look at £25m plans for new Ipswich Hospital A&EStaff at the new IRCA unit will be able to carry out a range of radiological procedures, usually involving the insertion of a needle, cannula, catheter or wire into a patient for diagnosis and/or treatment.

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The new unit will also be used for state-of-the-art MRI conditional pacemaker implants, injectable loop recorder implants with remote follow-up capabilities, cardioversions and TOE (trans oesophageal echocardiography) procedures.

Bosses feel the two-storey unit, on the first floor of the hospital, is a much more appropriate location due to its closeness and travel time to other departments.

Work is due to finish in April 2021.

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