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Ministers plant green shoots of new hospital

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Lord Markham, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, visits West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust as the first green shoots of the new hospital are planted.

Lord Markham CBE, who is responsible for the New Hospital Programme and minister for RAAC, planted the first tree as buffer planting on the new site began.

Lord Markham, along with local MPs Jo Churchill and James Cartlidge, visited the development site for the replacement West Suffolk Hospital on 23 February and viewed the progress on the archaeological trial trenching along with the plans for the buffer planting.

Left to Right Gary Norgate, WSFT Future System Programme Director; James Cartlidge, MP for South Suffolk; Simon Hirst, Project Lead, New Hospital Programme, NHS England; Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds; Craig Black, WSFT Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Resources; Lord Markham, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care; Josie Rudman, Chief Nurse and Transformation Director, New Hospital Programme, NHS England

The buffer trees are being utilised to reduce the visual and sound impact of the proposed new hospital and are part of the important enabling works to prepare the site.

Lord Markham said: “It was great to visit the site here in Bury St Edmunds and to view the progress on the replacement West Suffolk Hospital, which is part of our commitment to deliver 40 new hospitals by 2030 and is now expected to be backed by over £20 billion of infrastructure investment.

“As part of the government’s long-term plan for our health care system, we have prioritised the construction of a replacement hospital here in West Suffolk to give local residents access to world-leading care and deliver the highest standards of safety for patients and staff.

“Planting the first buffer tree, as part of the pre-construction works, is an important step in preparing the site for a state-of-the-art new hospital, which will benefit patients and staff – and the communities of West Suffolk – for generations to come.”

During the visit, the Minister and MPs discussed the plans and progress of the hospital with the programme team as enabling works, which prepare the site ahead of construction of the new hospital, continue to progress.

Craig Black, deputy chief executive and director of resources said; “We are delighted to host Lord Markham and our local MPs to demonstrate the significant progress the team have made. We welcome their continued support as our new hospital, for our patients and staff, gets closer.”

The new hospital for West Suffolk will be a replacement for the current West Suffolk Hospital situated on Hardwick Lane and is on track to be completed by 2030.

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