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£13.5m investment to improve NSFT facilities

​Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) is investing a total of £13.5m improving the facilities from which it delivers care to ensure they are accessible, appropriate and safe for patients, service users, carers and staff.

The Trust spent £2.7m during 2015/16, with a further £3.3m earmarked for the current financial year and £7.5m to follow in 2017/18. It comes as part of an ongoing programme looking at NSFT’s buildings to make sure they are fit for purpose while disposing of any which are no longer needed so that the money can be reinvested in improvements elsewhere.

Projects which have taken place so far include:  

•    A £360k initiative to improve access to Mariner House in Ipswich as well as increasing the space available to service users, families and staff.
•    Work to create the £830k Dragonfly Unit, which provides specialist inpatient care for young people with acute mental health needs at Carlton Court in Lowestoft.
•    A £3m redesign programme at the Norvic Clinic in Thorpe St Andrew, which will include remodelling the wards and facilities to make sure they meet the needs of service users.
•    £500k of improvements to the wards at Hellesdon Hospital.

Over the next year, the Trust will spend a further £7.5m. Planned projects include a £1.7m upgrade and refurbishment of its secure unit, £1.5m of improvements to ensuite facilities for patients, £1.9m on improving IT resilience and £500k on premises for mental health teams based in Norwich.

Julie Cave, Director of Finance at NSFT, said: “Like many NHS organisations, we are reviewing our estate to ensure we do not use important NHS resources to maintain empty properties which are no longer fit for purpose.

“Disposing of these buildings provides us with vital funds which we can reinvest into maintaining or upgrading other premises so that we can provide a safe and suitable environment for our service users.

“The improvements we are making represent a substantial investment for the Trust, and we hope that everyone who uses our facilities likes the upgrades we have made.”

The improvements have been part-funded with money from the sale of the main part of the St Clement’s Hospital site in Ipswich, as well as two disused sites in Norwich – Meadowlands and Highlands.