Same-day emergency care unit at Ipswich Hospital set to open in 2021
Plans to build a same-day emergency treatment unit at Ipswich Hospital have moved a step forward, after a planning application was submitted – with hopes it will be open by the start of 2021.
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, confirmed in August that it would be creating the £1.4million facility after receiving £3m in emergency government funding to prepare for winter.
The acute medical same day emergency care (AMSDEC) unit will assess and treat patients with problems such as chest infections or palpitations, without those people needing to stay in hospital.
The trust’s other hospital in Colchester opened a similar unit in October last year, which treated around 500 patients per month over the winter.
The plans, submitted to Ipswich Borough Council last month, reveal it will be built as a new first floor above the existing emergency assessment unit.
The trust’s application said: “The creation of an AMSDEC unit within Ipswich Hospital is an important step in providing further same day emergency care within a calm environment.”
It added: “Same day emergency care gives the opportunity to better manage patient flow, improve patient experience and reduce acute hospital admissions.”
The hospital said it would allow patients to be fast-tracked from their GP, A&E, ambulances or NHS 111 without patients needing to wait in A&E, and avoid unnecessary overnight admissions.
Among the common conditions same-day emergency treatment centres cover are headaches, deep vein thrombosis, pneumonia, cellulitis and diabetes.
The application is open for public responses, and is likely to go before the council’s planning committee for a decision later this year.
Elsewhere, the hospital has also lodged plans to demolish the existing flat-roof Costa coffee shop and instead extend the existing retail courtyard.
The trust said it would provide larger, more modern retail outlets as well as link better to the main hospital, and release some ground floor space for the adjacent urgent treatment centre and emergency department.
It added: “This is a simple application for a modest extension and re-modelling of existing space which responds to the ongoing and changing requirements of a hospital.
“If approved it will result in an updated modern retail and cafe experience for staff, visitors and patients.”