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Estates work at West Suffolk Hospital

We pride ourselves on providing you with the best possible care in an environment that’s comfortable, so that you can recover and quickly and restfully as possible.

We do our best to make improvements at our West Suffolk Hospital site, and have built lots of exciting new clinical areas to make your experience better – including our new and state-of-the-art cardiac suite, labour suite, and new acute assessment unit.

That said, the original building is getting older and is starting to show its age. It’s been nationally acknowledged that we need a new hospital.

The Trust has faced estate challenges regarding its roof for a number of years, and has put approved mitigations in place, like reducing weight on the roof. These risks have been well-managed and well-mitigated.

Recently an additional, specific structural risk was identified about a product called a reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) plank, which was used in the original build of West Suffolk Hospital and the front residences in the 1970s.

There is no need for immediate concern; we have been proactive, robust and absolutely on the front foot in tackling this issue. We have mapped every plank across the organisation, and are robustly assessing each one individually to look for any unexpected signs of stress as identified in the safety alert.

We’re utilising the best quality, most sophisticated equipment available to do this, including radar equipment and other approved tests – so you might see these checks being done around the site if you have cause to visit us.

Of all our checks so far, which are being supported by an expert structural engineer, we haven’t found any unexpected signs of stress tension in the planks.

These investigations are still ongoing, and we are very sorry if they cause any inconvenience while you are here. On rare occasions, we might need to move patients to another bed, ward or area so we can carry out our work, but we try very hard to keep these disruptions to a minimum.

We take the safety of our patients and our staff incredibly seriously, and simply need to make sure our building is always as fit for purpose as we can make it to provide you with the best care.

If you have any worries or concerns while you’re here, please speak to a member of staff. If you’d like to give us feedback (good or bad), we’d welcome you getting in touch via our patient advice and liaison service (PALS).