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West Suffolk Hospital patients in Bury St Edmunds could receive operations at mobile theatre in Ipswich in £10 million scheme to tackle waiting lists

Patients at West Suffolk Hospital could receive operations at a mobile theatre in Ipswich as part of a scheme to tackle waiting lists.

The Bury St Edmunds hospital is among NHS services in the area to benefit from a £10 million boost to increase the number of elective operations they deliver.

Earlier this month, NHS England announced Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System is to receive a share of £160 million in funding for the ‘elective accelerators' to speed up the recovery of routine services following the Covid-19 pandemic.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds
West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds

In his report to the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust board, which met this morning, chief executive Dr Steve Dunn said initiatives likely to be part of the scheme include a Vanguard mobile operating theatre, which would be based at Ipswich with capacity reserved for West Suffolk patients.

There could also be new facilities, equipment and staffing to support improved day surgery and the use of technology to help assess patients remotely.

Dr Dunn said they were working closely with East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust to look at how they can 'transform' services.

"We know there are mixed feelings amongst staff about going full steam into recovery just as we’ve all been through such busy and stressful times," he said.

"However, we also know that our teams really care about their patients and many want to get on with delivering the care patients need.

"The concept of the accelerator is not just to go harder and faster, but to look at how we can work differently and more sustainably in the future."

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