University of Suffolk's health and care quarter to open in April 2022 as 'unprecedented' numbers apply for courses at Ipswich campus
A multi-million pound health and care quarter being built at the University of Suffolk packed with state of the art facilities is set to open in April next year, amid a surge in new health and care students.
Work is underway at the university’s Ipswich campus to transform the mothballed East Building into a fresh four-storey facility for delivering heath and care courses, which will create six-times more space than that currently used by health course students.
Among the facilities will be two six-bed hospital wards, a child ward, midwifery space, a fully-working radiography suite, psychology lab, paramedic space and virtual simulation room.
The project, which has secured funding from the Government’s £25million Towns Fund, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and the clinical commissioning groups, is currently under construction with the keys likely to be handed over shortly after Christmas ahead of an April 2022 opening.
It comes at a crucial time as demand for spots on health and care courses are said to be at 'unprecedented numbers'.
Dr Paul Driscoll-Evans, dean of the school of health sciences, said: “The new health and wellbeing quarter is really in place in response to the significant growth we have in health student numbers.
“We have seen about 30 per cent increase in the last four years and we are seeing an unprecedented number applying for health courses – particularly with the Covid pandemic.”
He said the health quarter will be “a space that will transform how we deliver provision,” and added: “With this investment we genuinely have the most state-of-the-art campus health facilities in the country”.
The facility will host the new Integrated Care Academy – a tie-up between the university, NHS partners and Suffolk County Council to improve patient care and achieve better clinical services.
Priorities for the academy include optimal mental health and wellbeing, better quality of life for aging people, and top end of life care.
It will see students working with industry professionals, while space at the new health quarter will also host health services members of the public can use such as Suffolk Mind services and physiotherapy – a key part of the university’s pledge to have a community impact.
Around 200 nurses, 50 paramedics and 20 physiotherapists are set to be trained in the new facilities each year.