Hospitals to get millions of pounds for refurbishments

Andrew Gibbins died on the A14 after leaving the West Suffolk Hospital site Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

West Suffolk Hospital will receive some of the funding - Credit: Archant

Hospitals in Suffolk and north Essex are set to benefit from multi-million pound government funding to upgrade vital services.

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced NHS trusts in the East of England are to share a £54million pot reserved for upgrading and refurbishing hospitals.

Included in the scheme is a sum of £3million for repair works of the roof at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.

In total, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, will receive nearly £9.7million to go towards 18 maintenance projects.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which manages Ipswich, Colchester and Felixstowe hospitals, will be handed £2.9million to fund nine schemes.

Issues such as building or refurbishing buildings, replacing lifts, upgrading electrical infrastructure and improving fire safety will be addressed with the funding.

NHS trusts in the East of England were urged to submit proposals for suitable projects that would deliver "maximum impact" and represent good value for money.

Ipswich Hospital will also receive government cash 

Ipswich Hospital will also receive money for upgrades - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

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The projects, which have been evenly distributed across the country, are now underway and are set to be completed by March next year.

The announcement is on top of an additional £450million investment from the government to improve hospital A&Es this winter by expanding waiting areas and increasing the number of treatment cubicles, helping to boost capacity, reducing overcrowding and improving infection control measures.

The investment is part of £1.5billion capital funding which was announced in the summer to build an NHS it for the future, which also includes plans to modernise mental health facilities, expand A&E capacity and improve infection control ahead of winter.

Health secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock 

Health secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock said the money would make a huge difference to hospitals - Credit: Kirst Wigglesworth

Health secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock said the funding would deliver "immediate benefits" to hospitals in need of upgrading.

He said: "Alongside delivering on our manifesto commitment to build 40 new hospitals and 20 major hospital upgrades across the country, this investment will help our NHS build back better.

“These crucial maintenance projects will deliver immediate benefits and provide NHS staff with the facilities they need to provide world-class care to their patients this winter, helping ensure the NHS is always there for you when you need it.”