A MAJOR refurbishment project, costing more than £800,000, has begun at West Suffolk Hospital to improve and modernise facilities for its patients.
The work, which began last week, will see ward F8 completely refurbished and reopened early next year as the new base for the hospital’s emergency assessment unit (EAU).
The relocated EAU will have 29 beds, two of which will be high dependency, and will be directly above the hospital’s A&E to help improve efficiency and patient flow.
Gwen Nuttall, executive chief operating officer at the hospital, said: “This major investment underlines our commitment to continually improving both the fabric of the hospital and our services for the benefit of the patients we care for.
“Not only will the refurbished unit provide patients with a nicer environment in which to receive treatment but will also help us to work more efficiently.
“Relocating our EAU to a new base directly above A&E will also make it easier to transfer patients between the units, further improving the experience they have while using our services.”
Patients will be referred to the short-stay EAU area by their GP or A&E and will be assessed before a decision is made on whether to discharge them or admit them to the main hospital.
In addition to the refurbishment work on ward F8, a further £522,000 backlog maintenance project is taking place in the hospital’s day surgery unit.
Lighting will be replaced, theatre ventilation will be cleaned, medical gas systems will be upgraded and additional measures will be put in place to ensure the hospital’s compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act.
To allow the hospital to continue carrying out minor procedures during the project, a waiting room has been converted into a local anaesthetic theatre.
The extra theatre will remain in use after the work has been completed later this year, increasing the hospital’s capacity and allowing it to cater for more patients.