New West Suffolk Hospital preferred site to be finalised in November
PUBLISHED: 19:00 16 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:39 17 October 2020
The location for the rebuild of West Suffolk Hospital has been narrowed down to a handful of potential sites – with a decision on a favoured location set to be made next month.
The hospital’s director of future systems, Gary Norgate, told Suffolk County Council’s health scrutiny on Wednesday that a shortlist of five sites had been made, one of which has already dropped out of contention.
Another option is to reconfigure the existing site, although that is not one that it is understood to be favoured because it would require a lengthy rebuild closing portions of the site in different phases, leaving three further possibilities.
MORE: Government confirms West Suffolk Hospital among 40 to be rebuilt
The final preferred site is expected to be made next month, with an outline business case expected in December.
Mr Norgate said: “We are currently undergoing detailed surveys and detailed investigations against the set of objective criteria to determine which one will be our preferred option.
“We think we are doing a really thorough job. We hope to complete that assessment by mid-November.”
The hospital is being challenged to come up with designs that will be carbon neutral, with the build set to be completed in 2025.
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The hospital is one of 40 announced nationally by the government at the start of the month to receive a share of £3.7billion for a rebuilt facility.
Mr Norgate said: “It’s really come to the end of its usable life.
“Future investment is really not viable going forward, it will take an entire rebuild to sustain services on that site.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity and we are so keen therefore to do this right.
“It’s a great opportunity to really make sure that hospital is something to be proud of for the future.”
As well as attempting to future-proof facilities and provide top quality care, there are also plans to expand on teaching and training opportunities with universities and colleges.
The outline costs of the project are being benchmarked against the recent build of the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, to ensure figures are broadly in line with where they should be.
Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public health, James Reeder, said that the James Paget rebuild over the border in Gorleston will also benefit Suffolk residents, and added: “It’s going to be a tremendous time for Suffolk and the surrounding areas to have these two major projects that I am sure will collaborate together.”
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