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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 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. In order to maintain the current premises, an extensive programme of planned maintenance works are underway. 

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 it. These risks have been well-managed and well-mitigated.

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

We have been proactive, robust and 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 using the best quality, most sophisticated equipment available to do this, including radar equipment and other approved tests. These investigations are ongoing and we are carrying out remedial works across the estate as part of this work; so you might see these checks and precautionary measures being applied around the site if you have cause to visit us.

We take the safety of our patients and our staff incredibly seriously. We have a duty to ensure that the existing hospital is appropriately maintained and we are able to continue to provide high quality health services for our community. 

Noise and disruption

Unfortunately at times we do expect some noise and disruption to services within the hospital as a result of the maintenance works. We are not currently planning to move services off the Hardwick Lane site but will need to temporaily or permanently move some within it. Where services need to be reloacted within the hospital, patients will be notified and clear signage will direct visitors appropriately. On rare occasions, we may need to move patients to another bed, ward or area so we can carry out our work. We apololgise for any inconvenience this causes while you are here and would like to reassure you we are doing all that we can to keep these disruptions to a minimum.

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).