Fens set for £33m hospital

PUBLISHED: 12:10 10 March 2006 | UPDATED: 21:46 28 May 2010

FENLAND has been earmarked for a £33million state-of-the-art hospital. Health chiefs says the time is now ripe to press the case for a modern district hospital in the Fens to serve an expanding population and to reduce journeys to hospitals in Huntingdon,

FENLAND has been earmarked for a £33million state-of-the-art hospital.Health chiefs says the time is now ripe to press the case for a modern district hospital in the Fens to serve an expanding population and to reduce journeys to hospitals in Huntingdon, Peterborough or Kings Lynn.The surprise news comes in the wake of the scaling back of services at Doddington Hospital and increasing fears that Fenland was being left behind in health provision.This week's announcement turns that assumption on its head, and there is confidence within East Cambs and Fenland Primary Care Trust the new hospital will secure funding. The trust backed the proposal after considering several alternatives that included doing nothing or re-developing the existing hospital.However, with the expectation that North Cambs Hospital at Wisbech will remain operational while the new hospital is built, the plan is to sell the site for development to help pay the cost of its replacement.The trust will be looking for a brownfield or greenfield site in the Wisbech area and agreed a project team should be appointed to get it under way.The trust agreed with a 50-page draft business plan which labelled the existing North Cambs Hospital "outdated and cramped".Matthew Smith, project director, told board members: "Given the cramped conditions, it is extremely difficult from an operational perspective to maintain privacy and dignity."He said a new hospital was needed because:- There has been a rapid expansion in the local population- There is a need to take advantage of new technology- A new hospital would help recruitment and retention of qualified staff- Freeing up the old site would ensure value for money for the PCT- New models of care were needed in line with best practice

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