Work begins on new-look children’s department

A multi-million pound project has begun to redevelop the children’s department at Ipswich Hospital and transform the experience of young patients and their families.

The £6.9m scheme will see construction teams create a modern, welcoming and child-friendly environment which is fit for the 21st century, with improved facilities for patients, families and carers.

As part of the project, the number of clinic spaces will be increased so that more children can attend for appointments. Additional side rooms – more of which will be ensuite – will also be available, while a new two-bedded HDU bay will be created for patients who need intensive treatment.

In addition, the playroom will move to the heart of the ward, the garden will receive a much-needed update and a sanctuary will be created for teenagers. The paediatric assessment unit (PAU), where emergency cases are cared for, will be located much closer to the main ward, in turn helping staff to work together effectively to look after acutely unwell children.

All of these changes will help to improve the experience of children, young people, families and carers.

The extensive project is being jointly funded by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) and The Children’s Appeal, which is run by Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity. Work will take place in phases, with the scheme due for completion next year.

Dr Lauren Filby, clinical lead for paediatrics at Ipswich Hospital, said: “We are delighted that work has now started on this exciting project, which will transform the experience which our young patients and their families have when receiving treatment. The redevelopment will help us to create a modern, welcoming environment which matches the high standards of care which our staff provide.

“We have worked closely with our patients and their families as we have developed the plans to make sure that the new-look department will meet their needs and look forward to watching work progress over the coming months.”

The Children’s Appeal launched in 2018 and has been embraced by local people, as well as by Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran and farmer and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty. Although the majority of the funding needed for the project has now been raised, the charity is asking for the public’s help to raise the final £43,000 needed to complete the transformation.

Mandy Jordan, associate director of Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, said: “Local people have really taken this appeal to their hearts, and we are incredibly grateful for all of the support we have received so far.

“The money which has been raised will make a real difference to young patients and their families by creating a state-of-the-art centre from which our hard-working staff can deliver a gold standard of care.”

The children’s department transformation is one of several major building projects currently taking place at Ipswich Hospital.

A new £23.1m emergency department, urgent treatment centre, surgical assessment unit and front entrance are being created, while a new breast care centre is also being developed thanks to another partnership with Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity.

For more information about The Children’s Appeal, click here.

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