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Development and construction

Click view questions and answers below.


Question: Why is a new hospital required?


Answer: West Suffolk Hospital has been serving the local community at its current location at Hardwick Lane since 1974. The hospital has continued to evolve on the site with significant renovations and the addition of several new buildings. These include a number of clinical areas to improve patient experience, such as our state-of-the-art Cardiac Centre, Labour Suite, and Acute Assessment Unit.


West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) has invested heavily in the upkeep of the buildings over recent years to ensure that the existing hospital is appropriately maintained, and we are able to continue to provide high quality health services for our community. However, whilst many patients praise the care that they receive, many of the buildings have already exceeded their intended 30-year life span and are showing signs of wear and tear. The buildings and the layout of the hospital have limitations that do not allow us to deliver the 21st century healthcare that we believe our patients and staff deserve.




Question: Do the plans have the backing of the government?


Answer: The need for a new hospital has been acknowledged nationally and in 2020, as part of the Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP), West Suffolk was confirmed as one of 40 new hospitals across the country that the government had committed to build by 2030. 



Question: How much will this development cost?

Answer: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust are in the early stages of development. Any costings will be subject to approval and based on the plan developed with the local community.


Question: How many beds will there be in the new healthcare facility?

Answer: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust are in the early stages of development. The number of beds will be determined by a number of factors, for example what is required and the space available. Our patients and staff will work with us to help determine what is needed now and in the future.


Question: Why 'healthcare facility' and not a 'hospital'?

Answer: The new building will replace the hospital based at Hardwick Lane. Depending on the proposals that are developed, the vision is for the new facility to be more than a hospital, enabling the delivery of health services in a way Qthat is fit for our current and future needs.


QuestionWhat is the scale of the development?

Answer: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust are at the very early stages of planning. This is a five-year programme with two years of development involved. This information will be shared once it has been established.


QuestionWhere will construction traffic be directed through?

Answer: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust wish to be considerate of its neighbours at all times and will endeavour to minimise the impact on local residents.

The disruption to the local area and construction traffic access routes are part of the assessment criteria for each of the four potential sites.

Should Hardwick Manor be the preferred site, construction traffic will be directed through  an alternative point of access.


QuestionWill the bund (barrier) between the car park and Sharps Road be affected?

Answer: At this stage the Trust do not envisage this area being affected however any changes would be subject to consultation.


QuestionWould you build on Hardwick Heath?

Answer: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust do not have any plans to build on Hardwick Heath. 


QuestionWhat is the footprint proposal of the new healthcare facility?

Answer: Whilst West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust does not have this level of detail at the moment. The Trust are able to confirm that it is between 75,000 – 100,000 square meters but this will be determined by how many floors etc. and the limitations of the preferred site.


Question: Will the existing hospital be turned into a housing development?

Answer: This will be dependent on the chosen preferred site.

If Hardwick Manor is not the preferred site, then West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust would need to recoup their investment from the existing site.

If Hardwick Manor was the preferred site, then a majority of the existing site will be retained. It is highly unlikely that a housing development would be granted beside a hospital due to the highways infrastructure.


QuestionIf the current hospital site and Hardwick Manor were to be sold, would the arable land at Hardwick Manor remain arable?

Answer: At this moment in time we can confirm that it will remain arable land.


QuestionWill construction work take place at a weekend?

Answer: West Suffolk NHs Foundation Trust are mindful of the impact on our neighbours, this includes the times that construction work takes place. Once The Trust are in a position to confirm construction timescales this will be communicated with those affected, and if necessary, engagement will take place.


Q: How tall will the new hospital be?

The Trust is in the process of developing possible designs for the hospital however we do know that we will get significant operational efficiency with a taller building. 

The Trust’s aim is to minimise any visual impact by making the best use of the undulating environment, we are doing detailed landscape work to understand what size building the site could accommodate without causing harm to neighbours and the landscape. 

Our work will inform what the maximum height of the building could be on the site and that will be consulted on and assessed by the Local Planning Authority. The public will have the opportunity to form their own opinion on our detailed work on this subject and can comment on that during the next stage of pre-application engagement and the formal planning process.


Q: Will local residents south of the new site in Pinford End and in Hawstead be consulted?

A: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust wishes to gather the views of all local residents. Please submit feedback via the website and keep visiting the website for details of future online engagement events.


Q: Where will the construction site entrance and exit be?

A: The project is at an early stage and the Trust is considering points for access. Whichever option is selected will be subject to a traffic management plan. This will be thoroughly tested with the highways and the planning department at the council at the pre-application stage. This will be tested again when planning permission is submitted.

To reiterate, there is no intention to use Sharp Road for site traffic or hospital traffic. 


Q: Where will site compounds be placed?

A: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust are exploring possible locations for site compounds. Once this has been confirmed it will be shared. However, the Trust can confirm that this will not be on Hardwick Heath.


Q: Will modern technologies be reviewed to maximise energy to reduce the impact on natural resources?

A: This is a key part of the development in terms of the impact on the environment. There is an expectation that all newly developed hospital buildings will have a net zero carbon impact. This will definitely be part of the planning proposal that West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust puts forward.


Q: When is construction likely to begin?

A: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust are in the early stages of planning and development. The beginning of the construction phase is several years away and subject to business case approvals, and the Trust plan to finish the build by 2030. 


Q: Do you see this an opportunity to integrate services?

A: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has been working with neighbouring health trusts, community services, local GPs, mental health providers, the voluntary sector and charitable organisations to see if there are opportunities for provider collaboration and integrated care. This will form part of the clinical vision that is being produced.

The programme board is also made up of leaders from all of the local health providers including St. Nicholas Hospice, the local mental health provider and the clinical commissioning group.

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust recognised that if the health system can work together so much more can be achieved.


Q: Will the new development change the relationships between the WSH and the University of Cambridge or with University of Suffolk?

A: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is proud of its relationship with University of Suffolk and the University of Cambridge. The hospital accommodation has recently been expanded to accommodate the increase in submissions to the University of Cambridge course.

One of benefits of the Hardwick Manor site is that the accommodation block can be retained.

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is also currently in talks with the University of Suffolk about an integrated healthcare academy in order to continue to provide a way to support the workforce of the future.