County to get new neo-natal care centre

By James HoreA HOSPITAL in Chelmsford has been chosen as the location for the county's new neo-natal intensive care centre.Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford will be the home for the state-of-the-art centre and should mean newborn children with serious medical problems will no longer have to be transferred out of Essex for treatment.

By James Hore

A HOSPITAL in Chelmsford has been chosen as the location for the county's new neo-natal intensive care centre.

Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford will be the home for the state-of-the-art centre and should mean newborn children with serious medical problems will no longer have to be transferred out of Essex for treatment.

When it is up and running in five years' time, the neo-natal intensive care centre will form a network with other hospitals in the area, including Colchester General Hospital.


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The decision to base the centre at Broomfield Hospital was welcomed by Andrew Pike, chief executive of Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust, which runs the Chelmsford site.

"I am absolutely delighted with the news. We can provide the centre in modern facilities as part of our exciting new PFI hospital, which is due for completion in 2009," he said.

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"The fact we will have an intensive care centre at Broomfield serving the people of Essex has got to be great news for everybody. The last thing people want in a situation where they are in need of such a service is the added stress of having to travel outside of Essex."

Dr Anthony Lipscomb, the trust's clinical director for paediatric services, added: "This is fantastic news for babies and parents, not just in Chelmsford, but right across Essex, because we can all look forward to improvements in the quality of neo-natal care.

"It is also great news for staff across mid-Essex and I would like to thank all of them for their support throughout the biding process."

The 10-cot intensive care centre is expected to be open in 2009. In the meantime, the network will be set up and training and development undertaken.

The existing unit at St John's Hospital in Chelmsford will also be increasing its intensive care capacity to help provide cover during the next five years.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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