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Building at new West Suffolk Hospital site at Hardwick Manor, in Bury St Edmunds, set to start after 2025





A new hospital for West Suffolk is still on track to be finished in 2030 despite concerns about the national building scheme - and the amount spent to patch up ageing sites.

This week NHS Providers, an organisation which supports hospital trusts, highlighted what it said were ‘spiralling cost pressures’ related to the New Hospital Programme (NHP).

The scheme has promised 40 new hospitals will be built in England by the end of the decade.

West Suffolk Hospital and Hardwick Manor in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Will Finch/West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
West Suffolk Hospital and Hardwick Manor in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Will Finch/West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

It said: “The bill for having to patch up deteriorating sites sees some trusts in the New Hospital Programme forking out upwards of £1 million a month from under-pressure budgets.”

Responding to concerns, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) said the programme to deliver a new hospital at the Hardwick Manor site in Bury St Edmunds is on track, with construction starting post-2025 and an expected opening date in 2030.

A trust spokesman said: “ We are continuing to prepare the new site for construction and are working closely with the New Hospital Programme to maximise the opportunities that the centralised national design and programme can bring, to deliver this new hospital as quickly as possible.

To date WSFT has spent £74 million on RAAC safety work. Picture: WSFT
To date WSFT has spent £74 million on RAAC safety work. Picture: WSFT

“Alongside this, due to our ageing estate and the prevalence of RAAC across much of our West Suffolk Hospital site, the trust has undertaken a significant programme of works to support our RAAC infrastructure to ensure the safety of patients, staff, and visitors.”

WSFT said it always followed expert, independent advice about the management of its buildings.

To date it has spent £74 million on RAAC safety work - which has been broken down below.

WSFT total spend on RAAC safety work

2019/20 - £1.95 million

2020/21 – £9.01 million

2021/22 – £29.62 million

2022/23 - £22.58 million

2023/24 – £10.91 million

2024/25 (forecast) - £4 million

Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) is a form of lightweight concrete used in construction in many buildings between the 1950s and 1990s.

In addition to the repair works completed as part of the RAAC programme, WSFT spent £1.07 million on general backlog repairs during 2022/23 - this figure excludes equipment replacement.

Backlog repairs are classed as work which is done to maintain the condition of an existing building.