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Thursday, 23 November 2017
Spotlight on our community hospitals
22 December 2016

Did you know the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust runs three community hospitals? Bluebird Lodge in Ipswich, Felixstowe Community Hospital and Aldeburgh Community Hospital now come under our Trust umbrella.

The hospitals offer inpatient beds for rehabilitation, management of long-term conditions and end of life care. Patients are regularly reassessed and receive care until they are clinically fit for discharge back home or to a nursing or residential home. This care is provided by nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, generic workers (a similar role to a hospital healthcare assistant, to support the nurses and therapists), doctors (both local GPs and hospital specialists) and modern matrons, plus in-house domestic staff. The hospitals are also a base for community healthcare teams and clinics. Each hospital has a garden area and activity coordinators to organise arts and crafts, bingo and social dining.

We visited teams at the three sites to find out more…


Felixstowe Community Hospital photostrip

Felixstowe Community Hospital
Modern matron Helen Wyatt is the nursing lead at Felixstowe Community Hospital, which has 16 beds. She said: “We have a mixture of single rooms and bays which lends itself to using the environment to suit the patient. There are those that benefit from the encouragement of other patients [in a bay] and those that need to be more independent so we simulate a home environment with a single rooms and en-suite.
“We work extremely well with the local community matron, community care practitioner and local healthcare team so there is integrated working with the patient in the centre of all that we do.”
The hospital has a garden, dining area and lounge – and the lounge is sometimes used for group exercises for patients.

A relative said: “Thank you all so much for the great care and attention you gave me my father in law. I have no doubt that on occasion it was difficult to deal with his confusion but we really felt he had the greatest support from you all.”


Photos of Aldeburgh Hospital and staff

Aldeburgh Community Hospital
The team at Aldeburgh Community Hospital, led by modern matron Michelle Fletcher, cares for up to 20 patients. The hospital has single rooms for privacy and bed bay areas where patients can enjoy company of other patients. There is also a spacious conservatory and garden area for patients.

A patient said: “The staff are warm, friendly and caring. Despite being busy they have always met my needs effectively and I have never felt any requests have been any trouble. The most important aspect of my care was the rehab as it was how I was going to get home, and the team has been wonderful.”


Photos of Bluebird Lodge and staff

Bluebird Lodge Community Hospital
Bluebird Lodge in Ipswich cares for up to 28 patients and is led by modern matron Teresa Walls. It is built on the former Ipswich airport site and the name ‘Bluebird’ comes from the first aeroplane that landed on the airport. The hospital has a day room, large garden area and specialist gym for rehabilitation. Patients all have their own rooms.

One patient said: “A very big thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the care, support and patience during my stay with you. Everyone, without exception, has been so kind. I honestly think the Royal family couldn’t have had better treatment.”


Photos of the Minor Injuries Unit at Felixstowe Hospital.Minor Injuries Unit at Felixstowe
This picture shows nurses Sally Dowers, Debbie Catling and Amanda Evans in the main treatment areas of the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Felixstowe Community Hospital. Patients can attend the unit without appointments with minor injuries such as sprains, burns and other skin wounds. All major injuries are dealt with at Ipswich Hospital’s Emergency Department. GPs visit MIU every day, speech and language therapists are based on site, and there are a host of regular clinics provided by specialists including continence, dietary, podiatry, heart failure and chemotherapy. As well as this treatment area, MIU includes a minor operations unit, clinic rooms and a dedicated paediatric treatment area and diagnostics room (see below).

This picture shows radiographer Jacqueline Grey and imaging assistant Sue Watts in the Diagnostic Imaging Room at the Felixstowe Minor Injuries Unit. The X-ray team is available four mornings a week and sees about 100 patients each week. It saves Felixstowe patients from travelling to Ipswich for their X-ray. The Imaging Room is also used three times a week for an ultrasound service, again saving patients the journey to Ipswich for a scan.