Hospital outpatients could move to new multi-services hub

Updated CGI image of the internal street for the Western Way hub in Bury St Edmunds

The new Western Way hub will be home to a range of public services - Credit: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

Outpatients may be seen at a new services hub in Bury St Edmunds - instead of going to hospital for treatment.

Bosses behind the construction of a new hospital for Bury St Edmunds are considering whether to move some outpatient services to the new multi-million pound public services hub being built at the old depot in Olding Road.

The project will feature council, police, leisure and library services among others, and a health area could include some outpatient services from the hospital.

Suffolk County Council's health scrutiny committee meeting was not told what outpatient services that may include, and no decision has yet been made.

Gary Norgate, director of future systems programmes at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “To date, no real service change has been identified or is being planned, but we do have a recommendation to consider outpatient services becoming part of the integrated one public estate building that is going up in Bury St Edmunds.

“In the next couple of months we will do all of the work on assessments and all of the same co-production that typifies our approach to date, to ensure that we really understand the significance of those changes and the impact those changes will have upon users.

“We will draw conclusions on what that means in terms of consultation and then we will return to the HOSC [health scrutiny committee] and seek your support, thoughts and guidance on how to proceed.”

CGI image of the main entrance and skatepark for the Western Way hub

CGI image of the main entrance and skatepark for the Western Way hub plans in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

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The new hospital on the 70-acre Hardwick Manor site is one of 40 announced by the Government to be constructed by 2030 under £3.7billion plans.

The health scrutiny committee was told that a planning application should be submitted by the end of March.

However, questions have been raised nationally over how far the Government’s cash pledge will go.

Mr Norgate, said: “It is true to say that the original budget that was allocated to the building of those projects was inadequate, and that is broadly understood and accepted by the national hospital building programme team.

“With that in mind they are progressing with the Treasury and the Department of Heath a programme business case, i.e. a new business case to cover all projects and to include a far more reasonable, better thought out capital envelope."