Major developments proposed for West Suffolk Hospital as draft masterplan goes to public consultation

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Archant

West Suffolk Hospital could be set for a dramatic transformation as proposals for developments including a new centre to treat patients with heart conditions go out to a consultation.

New staff accommodation, extra car parking and the relocation of the sterile services department from Hospital Road to the hospital site, are among the other potential changes highlighted in the trust’s draft masterplan for its future.

While the proposals will lead to major improvements for patients, the plan has also stated that the hospital’s long-term future may still lie away from its current Hardwick Lane home – with a potential site in Westley on the table.

But the current plans have been hailed by hospital bosses.

The potential development of a cardiac catheterisation laboratory has been one of the areas highlighted as being particularly beneficial to patients.

The centre would include diagnostic imaging equipment capable of detecting heart abnormalities and would be able to cater for inpatient and outpatient treatment.

Craig Black, executive director of resources at the hospital, said: “This document sets out a framework for the short to medium term development of the hospital site and will help us plan for the future so that we can continue to meet the needs of our patients.

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“It includes proposals for some exciting developments, including the sterile services building and cardiac catheterisation lab, which would make a huge difference to heart patients by ensuring they no longer had to go out of the area for treatment.

“We would encourage as many people as possible to share their opinions on this masterplan so that we can make sure our vision for the future reflects the views of the population we serve.”

While attention is currently on the short to medium term, discussions are still ongoing about whether the hospital’s future will be in Bury St Edmunds or Westley.

The existing hospital is based on a 1960s design and, according to the draft masterplan, it is “increasingly difficult” to deliver care appropriate for the 21st century in “ageing buildings”.

A statement in the plan added: “The Trust has commissioned an option appraisal to compare the re-development of the Hardwick Lane site and the development of a new healthcare campus on the Westley site.

“The purpose of the appraisal is to establish the preferred location for the future delivery of healthcare in West Suffolk.

“It is anticipated that this work will be concluded later this year, following which the Trust will develop a detailed strategic long term development plan for the preferred option.”

A four-week consultation of the draft masterplan begins on Monday.

A drop-in session is also being arranged for April 2 at the hospital committee room to give people the opportunity to ask questions – it will take place between 2-8pm.

For more information, visit www.wsh.nhs.uk/masterplanning – the consultation runs until April 20.

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