Health secretary hails Suffolk hospital as 14 new beds are added
PUBLISHED: 14:03 29 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:03 29 October 2020
The health secretary has praised Newmarket Hospital as it added 14 new beds to help in the country’s battle against Covid-19.
Hospital bosses say the beds will be used flexibly in the Rosemary Ward, and will help to provide care for patients who do not need the more intensive levels of care at West Suffolk Hospital in nearby Bury St Edmunds.
They added this includes patients who are recovering from Covid-19 after testing negative for the virus, as well as those recovering from a wide range of other medical conditions.
West Suffolk MP and health secretary Matt Hancock said the beds will provide “wonderful” support in the fight against coronavirus.
Mr Hancock said: “I am thrilled we are expanding Newmarket Hospital. When I became MP a decade ago, all the talk was about stopping the hospital from shrinking. Now I’m so proud we’re seeing it grow so our local hospital will be there for the long term.
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“I have seen first-hand the fantastic work that goes on at Newmarket Hospital and it is wonderful to have these additional beds available to treat local residents and support the wider NHS, particularly at this difficult time as we continue to fight Covid.
“The way Newmarket has brought together hospital treatment, community services, and GP care for the benefit of patients and the community is really positive and I am so glad to see it expanding.”
Dr Stephen Dunn, chief executive of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, echoed Mr Hancock’s words and said the investment shows the benefit of community and hospital teams working together.
“Teams across the trust have worked hard together to open the new beds quickly, and they will be extremely valuable going in to winter and a likely second wave of the pandemic.” Dr Dunn added.
Helen Ballam, manager of the 33-bed ward, said the work has been “really impressive”.
Ms Ballam said: “An area that was just offices and storage has been transformed in just a few weeks, and we have nearly doubled the number of beds and the nursing staff.
“Patients do really well with us and it is a great place to recover. It is not as busy an environment as an acute hospital, and patients often know the GPs and community nurses which helps both us and them with their care.”
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