Major £87m investment announced for hospitals across Suffolk and Essex
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich and Colchester hospitals are set to receive £69million of investment to transform buildings and services, it has been announced.
The capital funding announcement by health secretary Jeremy Hunt also saw a near £15m investment on a new clinical service hub for Clacton as well as a further £3m for Fryatt Hospital in Harwich.
The funding will facilitate the proposed merger of Colchester and Ipswich hospitals and allow the newly named East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust to strengthen services.
The money will enable Colchester Hospital to transform its A&E department and improve diagnostic services at Ipswich.
The funding is part of a successful bid by the Suffolk and North East Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) to improve the way services are provided.
Nick Hulme, chief executive of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, and also STP lead, said: “This is excellent news. It means that our plans to deliver different types of care for all of our communities can now happen.
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“We will be able to provide emergency and urgent care in a different and improved way in the future for our patients. We will be sharing our proposals with the public over the coming months to get their views.”
The aim of the merger between the two hospitals is to see patients at the right time, attract and retain the best staff and to provide the latest treatments locally.
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Services will also be transformed in Clacton, with £15m spent on developing a new clinical service hub, which will see a number of local GP practices coming together in a single fit for purpose facility.
The funding will also address infrastructure issues at the Clacton Hospital site.
A further £3m will be invested in Fryatt Hospital in Harwich to support its development as a service hub.
The modern facility will expand its support to people in Harwich and across north Tendring through a range of community and GP services.
The funding announcement follows a visit by Michael Macdonnell, NHS England’s director of system transformation, to Ipswich earlier this month.
Mr Macdonnell said: “This capital investment recognises the progress Suffolk and North East Essex are making in joining up services across GPs, hospitals and mental health.
“The money will not only facilitate the merger of the two hospitals, it will also see the development of two integrated ‘hubs’ — with GP practices at their core — that will provide residents with a greater range of services outside of hospital.”
Nationally, 40 NHS hospitals and community services will receive funding for plans worth £760 million to modernise and transform their buildings and services in the year of the NHS’s 70th birthday.
The capital funding announced today by Jeremy Hunt is the single biggest injection of its kind in the NHS in over a decade,
Mr Hunt said: “As the NHS approaches its 70th birthday, we are backing it with one of the largest capital programmes in NHS history.
“We are backing local NHS services with new buildings, beds and wards so that staff who have been working incredibly hard over winter can have confidence we are expanding capacity for the future.”