Town could finally get new hospital

By Patrick LowmanHEALTH bosses have unveiled a revised multi-million-plan for a long-awaited new hospital that is due to open within two years.Suffolk West Primary Care Trust will consider today a detailed plan for the new Sudbury Health and Social Care Centre, which has been designed to revolutionise care facilities in the town.

By Patrick Lowman

HEALTH bosses have unveiled a revised multi-million-plan for a long-awaited new hospital that is due to open within two years.

Suffolk West Primary Care Trust will consider today a detailed plan for the new Sudbury Health and Social Care Centre, which has been designed to revolutionise care facilities in the town.

Members of the trust board are expected to approve the plan before the outline business case goes before the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority in March.


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If the plan is approved, it will bring a successful end to a 30-year campaign for new health facilities in the town to replace the ageing Walnuttree and St Leonard's Hospitals.

The revised plan, which goes on show for the first time today, includes a £5.4million 32-bed intermediate care centre, which will incorporate in-patient and day treatment facilities for physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

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A second centre will include a GP practice, run by doctors from the town's Hardwicke House practice, a minor injuries unit, an x-ray suite, an outpatient consultancy suite, an out-of-hours unit, mental health facilities and a base for social workers and community staff.

The new state-of-the-art complex will be built in Churchfield Road, off the Chilton Industrial Estate.

Land will be left available for an ambulance base, a 50-bed nursing home and a healthy living centre, which are planned in future years.

Jonathan Williams, the trust's clinical services director, said: “We believe that the future of health care is in treating people in or close to their homes and preventing people from having unnecessary hospital stays.

“No-one likes staying in hospital, sometimes it is necessary, but for the most part the future of health care is about community-based services.”

If the outline business case for the scheme is approved by the strategic health authority, work on the new centre will start later this year and it will open its doors by the end of 2007.

It was originally due to be approved in 2002 and open this year, but the health authority has refused to approved the plan on several occasions due to the trust's multi-million-pound debts.

patrick.lowman@eadt.co.uk

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