Government chooses Ipswich and Colchester Hospital for hubs

12:01 AM August 26, 2022

New theatres and a centre expansion will be provided at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals through new surgical hubs to break the backlog of waiting lists. 

The Department for Health and Social Care has announced three hospitals in the East of England among the 20 new and expanded hubs as part of a £1.5bn project. 

There are currently 91 hubs opens, with Ipswich, the first in Suffolk to house a site. 

The aim is to deliver two million extra operations across the country over the next three years, with 200,000 extra procedures in 2022-23, over 700,000 extra procedures in 2023-24, and one million extra procedures by 2024-25.

Adrian Marr, director of finance and performance at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust which runs both hospitals, said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded additional funding to build new laparoscopic theatres at Ipswich Hospital and the expansion of the new elective orthopaedic centre in the Dame Clare Marx Building at Colchester Hospital.

“These extra theatres and beds will make a tremendous difference to the communities we serve and help us deliver faster treatment and care.”

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Steve Barclay, secretary of Health and Social Care, made the announcement today.
– Credit: PA

Steve Barclay, health and social care secretary, said: “In order to bust the Covid backlogs and keep pace with future demands, we can’t simply have business as usual.

“Surgical hubs are a really tangible example of how we are already innovating and expanding capacity to fill surgical gaps right across the country, to boost the number of operations and reduce waiting times for vital procedures.

“We have already made progress in tackling the longest waiting lists to offer patients quicker access to treatment, and these new surgical hubs will in their own right deliver additional operations over the next three years, including over 200,000 this year alone.”

Procedures such as ophthalmology, general surgery, trauma and orthopaedics, gynaecology, ear nose and throat, and urology are areas where the hub will focus, bringing staff under one roof to reduce waiting times.

As the hubs are separated from emergency services, surgical beds are kept free for patients waiting for planned operations, reducing the risk of short-notice cancellations and improving infection control.

The hubs will also help address variation in performance between trusts, as they are required to meet national standards on numbers of operations, the full use of theatre facilities, and ensuring patients are discharged on the same day as their operation.

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