New A&E centre set for Ipswich Hospital

A NEW high-tech accident and emergency department for Ipswich Hospital is a step closer after board members gave it the green light last night .The proposals, which were approved by the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, will see the busy department moved to the planned Garrett Anderson Centre, which is part of a multi-million pound revamp of the Heath Road site.

A NEW high-tech accident and emergency department for Ipswich Hospital is a step closer after board members gave it the green light last night .

The proposals, which were approved by the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, will see the busy department moved to the planned Garrett Anderson Centre, which is part of a multi-million pound revamp of the Heath Road site.

The plans for the state-of-the-art facility for accident and emergency medicine will now go to the three primary care trusts in East Suffolk – Ipswich, Central Suffolk and Suffolk Coastal – before the move gets the official go ahead.

Jan Rowsell, hospital spokeswoman, said last night that it will be a "major change and will bring major benefits".


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She added: "If the proposal is approved, as it needs to go to the three primary care trust boards as well, it will be a state-of-the-art, leading accident and emergency department, not only for now but for the future.

"It will really mean that the excellent work that goes on everyday in our existing department will be matched by excellent facilities."

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The new unit, which will have 17 treatment rooms, an area dedicated to the treatment of children, and a resuscitation facility, will add another £1million to the development costs of the Garratt Anderson Centre, which are now estimated at just under £26million.

However the trust has said the proposal will be more cost effective and also spares the difficulties of maintaining a 24-hour service while the existing department is redeveloped.

There will be two different entrances to the new unit, one for seriously ill people brought in by emergency ambulance or the Air ambulance, and another entrance for non-life threatening injuries and illnesses.

Buses would also be able to pull up outside the centre making access easier.

But the move could hold up the opening of the four-floor Garrett Anderson Centre, which will provide more day surgery, planned treatment and diagnostic areas, to July 2007.

The purpose-built department, which will also feature two x-ray rooms and a plaster room, will feature in the ground floor of the new centre, where it was originally planned to have outpatient clinics.

If the proposal gains the seal of approval from the NHS primary care trusts the outpatient clinics will be set up in the old A and E department.

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