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Site of helipad for new West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds confirmed as work to prepare Hardwick Lane site continues





The future of a helipad when West Suffolk Hospital’s new site is built has been decided.

According to papers released ahead of the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) board meeting on Friday, it has been agreed that the helipad will remain on Hardwick Heath.

The papers reveal the decision, discussed with the East Anglian Air Ambulance team and planners, was made due to the frequency of flights and restrictions created by noise and downdraught.

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

Patients arriving by helicopter will be transferred to the emergency department of the new hospital at Hardwick Manor by a dedicated electric ambulance.

WSFT said the helipad may be moved slightly to avoid any rights of way issue.

In a progress update, the trust will outline its plans for the data centre and IT data hub which will serve the new hospital.

It said: “As we increase our adoption of digital services, so the need for secure and optimally connected space for servers and communication equipment becomes essential.

“With this in mind a dedicated building is being planned in the vicinity of the education centre which will allow access to site transformers and cabling.”

An IT data hub is set to be built on a site to the left of Quince House.

“This building will be used to locate essential on-site IT resources,” said the trust.

Both the education centre and Quince House are at the back of the current hospital.

The first phase of buffer planting at the Hardwick Manor site is now complete. Picture: Suzanne Day
The first phase of buffer planting at the Hardwick Manor site is now complete. Picture: Suzanne Day

In the board papers it is confirmed that archaeological trial trenching has been completed at Hardwick Manor and phase one of buffer planting has been completed on time.

Earlier this month a trust spokesman said that the new hospital is on track to be completed in 2030, with building work starting after 2025.

On Monday, WSFT released a video on social media showing the construction of a new temporary access road at Hardwick Manor.