Hospital emergency department funding 'an early Christmas present'
PUBLISHED: 19:33 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 22:04 07 December 2018
The chief executive of West Suffolk Hospital described the £13.4million of funding to improve its emergency department as an "early Christmas present for patients and staff".
Dr Stephen Dunn said the funding will be used to upgrade the department at the Bury St Edmunds hospital and will help improve patient flow.
The money will also enhance and modernise the emergency department, separate ambulance arrivals from other patients needing major and minor services and reduce turnaround time for ambulances – meaning patients are treated faster.
The funding was announced today by health secretary and West Suffolk MP, Matt Hancock, as part of a £1billion capital investment in the NHS.
Dr Dunn said: “This is fantastic news and much needed for our patients and staff. The current estate that our emergency department occupies is no longer fit for purpose.
“This money will help us improve our experience for patients, create a better working environment for our staff and help us avoid patients waiting longer than they need to.”
“I would like to pay tribute to all of our staff who continue to work tirelessly for the benefit of our patients and I look forward to progressing with our exciting plans.”
Mr Hancock, said: “We want even more patients to receive world-class care in world-class NHS facilities and this billion-pound boost, one of the most substantial capital funding commitments ever made, means that the NHS can do just that for years to come.
“The new funding for Suffolk and the East of England will ensure local residents receive the best emergency care.”
Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, said: “I have been campaigning for three years for monies for a new emergency department, working closely with the hospital’s chief executive Stephen Dunn.
“This money will provide a huge benefit to patients and staff and I can’t wait for us to get on with the build. Along with the new acute and cardiac units this will see our hospital ‘future fit’ to continue its outstanding care.”
Nick Hulme, lead for the Suffolk and North East Essex Shadow Integrated Care System, said: “I would like to congratulate the trust for securing the money.
“We are being awarded this capital based on our strong system plans that were submitted earlier this year, which have received very favourable feedback.
“This announcement today therefore demonstrates there is real confidence in our system, our plans and our work.”
The East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST) was also handed £18m to help with infrastructure and capacity, just before what is expected to be another busy winter for the region’s health service.