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Multi-million pound investment for health and care across Suffolk and north east Essex
28 March 2018

Today’s news of £87m investment for local hospitals across Suffolk and North East Essex has been warmly welcomed by Nick Hulme, local health and care leader.

This latest investment was announced by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt MP this morning.

The funding has been awarded to the Suffolk and North East Essex STP (Sustainability and Transformation Partnership) to improve local services. Nationally, STPs aim to improve health and wellbeing for local people by improving service quality and providing financial stability and balance.

This investment will support three key areas:

  • The proposed merger of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals (£69m). The proposal is that the hospitals will work together as one organisation, instead of two. The aim of the proposed merger is to see patients at the right time, attract and retain the best staff, and provide the latest treatments locally.  This funding will pay for improved facilities in the new trust allowing services to strengthen and grow.

  • Service transformation in Clacton - £15m will be spent developing a new clinical service hub for Clacton which will see a number of local GP practices coming together in a single fit for purpose facility. The funding will also address infrastructure issues at the Clacton Hospital site to ensure services are provided in the best way for local people.

  • Service transformation Harwich - £3m will be invested in Fryatt Hospital, Harwich to support its development as a service hub. This modern facility will enable additional support to people in Harwich and across north Tendring through a range of community and GP services.

Nick Hulme, Chief Executive of Ipswich and Colchester Hospitals and STP Lead: said:  “This is excellent news.  It means that our plans to deliver different types of care for all of our communities can now happen.  We will be able to provide emergency and urgent care in a different and improved way in the future for our patients.  We will be sharing our proposals with the public over the coming months to get their views.”

Susannah Howard, STP Programme Director, added: “Our aim is to bring the health and care system together to provide the best possible services.  Improving our facilities and buildings is a key part of bringing about improvements.”

Today’s funding announcement follows a visit by Michael Macdonnell, NHS England’s Director of System Transformation, earlier this month.  Mr Macdonnell said:  "This capital investment recognises the progress Suffolk and North East Essex is making in joining up services across GPs, hospitals and mental health. The money will not only facilitate the merger of the two hospitals, it will also see the development of two integrated ‘hubs’ — with GP practices at their core — that will provide residents with a greater range of services outside of hospital."