New hospital makes healthy progress
A NEW £15m hospital, which will revolutionise a town's healthcare, is on target to open within two years.Construction of the Sudbury Health and Social Care Campus is due to start in the spring of next year, in order for the new facility to open its doors for the first time in 2006.
A NEW £15m hospital, which will revolutionise a town's healthcare, is on target to open within two years.
Construction of the Sudbury Health and Social Care Campus is due to start in the spring of next year, in order for the new facility to open its doors for the first time in 2006.
The opening of the 40-bed hospital, to be built at Churchfield Road, on the edge of the Chilton Industrial Estate, will bring a successful end to 30 years of campaigning for improved health facilities in Sudbury.
Last year the campaigners celebrated a landmark decision when the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority finally approved the outline business case for the state-of-the-art hospital.
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The West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust has now released a time-table of key dates, which it hopes will take forward the new facility, to replace the town's ageing St Leonard's and Walnuttree Hospitals, which will close once the new campus is open.
Architects Murphy Philipps have been working with local groups and interested bodies to draw-up plans for the new complex. It is hoped the preliminary plans will go on public display in the next few weeks.
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The Suffolk West Primary Care Trust (PCT) has now been given responsibility to the lead the scheme and an advertisement is due to be placed in the official journal of the European Union to attract commercial partners in May.
Under the Government's private finance initiative, a private firm will be used to build the complex under specifications laid down by the health authority.
Construction is then due to start in the spring of 2005 and completed by 2006.
Town councillor Sylvia Byham, who has spent years campaigning for the new hospital, said: "I am very pleased because we have been promised this for so long. There has been frustration and anger, as this has been going on for so long. After a while nobody believed this would ever happen, but the town deserves it."
Facilities at the new hospital are likely to included 40-intermediate care beds, a minor injuries unit, diagnostic and x-ray services, a nursing home, a day treatment centre and outreach and outpatients services.
PCT chief executive Tony Ranzetta said: "The new campus will be at the heart of our modern approach to community and social care for the people of Sudbury and the surrounding area."