The Chief Executive of West Suffolk Hospital, Dr Stephen Dunn, has today described the allocation of £13.4m to improve its emergency department as a “much welcomed early Christmas present for patients and staff.”
The funding will be used to upgrade the area and will help the hospital in Bury St Edmunds to improve patient flow.
It will also enhance and modernise the department, separate ambulance arrivals from other patients needing major and minor services and reduce turnaround time for ambulances, meaning patients are treated faster.
The funding was announced today by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and MP for West Suffolk, Matt Hancock, and is part of a major national investment in the long-term future of the NHS.
Dr Dunn said: “This is fantastic news and much needed for our patients and staff. The current estate that our emergency department occupies is no longer fit for purpose.
“This money will help us improve our experience for patients, create a better working environment for our staff and help us avoid patients waiting longer than they need to.”
Dr Dunn added: “I would like to pay tribute to all of our staff who continue to work tirelessly for the benefit of our patients and I look forward to progressing with our exciting plans.”
Mr Hancock, said: “We want even more patients to receive world-class care in world-class NHS facilities and this billion-pound boost, one of the most substantial capital funding commitments ever made, means that the NHS can do just that for years to come.
“The new funding for Suffolk and the East of England will ensure local residents receive the best emergency care.”
The MP for Bury St Edmunds, Jo Churchill, said: “I have been campaigning for three years for monies for a new emergency department, working closely with the hospital’s Chief Executive Stephen Dunn.
“This money will provide a huge benefit to patients and staff and I can’t wait for us to get on with the build. Along with the new acute and cardiac units this will see our hospital ‘future fit’ to continue its outstanding care.”
The lead for the Suffolk and North East Essex shadow Integrated Care System, Nick Hulme, said: “I would like to congratulate the trust for securing the money. We are being awarded this capital based on our strong system plans that were submitted earlier this year, which have received very favourable feedback.
“This announcement today therefore demonstrates there is real confidence in our system, our plans and our work.”