Ray of hope for Ipswich Hospital

TODAY is a day of hope for Ipswich Hospital as the doors finally opened to a brighter future.

Rebecca Lefort

TODAY is a day of hope for Ipswich Hospital as the doors finally opened to a brighter future.

After years of planning and months of final preparation which have been dogged by delays, the first patients were today welcomed to the Garrett Anderson Centre.

At 8am the centre's doors opened on a state of the art centre which promises the best of care for Suffolk residents.

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The first patient into the new accident and emergency department was a 100-year-old woman, while the first walk-in wounded was Charmaine Ayden. The 20-year-old from the Foxhall Road area of Ipswich had hurt her foot when she slipped on a trampoline last night.

She said: “It seems quite a nice place and it's not too busy at the moment.

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“It's important to feel comfortable and I do feel comfortable here because when you've had an accident it can be quite stressful.

“It is a lovely building with lots of light.”

And the staff were just as thrilled with the opening of the multi-million pound building.

David Hodgkinson, clinical director for emergency care, said: “I'm feeling very excited but a little bit sad - I'm leaving the place I've been in for 12 years.

“It's a step forward and fantastic for the hospital.

“What is important is the people and this building will allow the people to deliver very high quality care and they won't be restricted by the building and they can flourish.”

Meanwhile project manager Wendy Webb, who was involved in the hospital's move from Anglesea in 1984 said: “We're very excited. Everybody has had training and induction so it should go very well.

“The best thing is the space. There will be bigger rooms and that is good for infection control and privacy and dignity.

“The hospital has to keep up with the best standards and this is a state-of-the-art facility with brilliant equipment. The staff are really pleased, they've been waiting a long time and now they are coming in they are saying 'wow'.

“We've built it for the future and the health needs of the next 20 to 30 years.”

Doctor David Lewis, consultant in emergency medicine, added: “It's brilliant. We're looking forward to getting down to work. It's a step forward for the hospital, it will be better for the patients and for the staff.”

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