A two-phase project will enable Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) facilities within the grounds of the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.
Ipswich-based Brooks & Wood Limited have recently completed the first phase of the project, which has seen the erection of new handrails and the installation of anti-slip treads within existing steps. The twelve-week phase was completed in March 2012 at a cost of £360,000 and also included the installation of ramps, which will enable easier access for wheelchair users.
Further works have included the erection of barriers for the car parks, which will in turn ensure safety and security for staff via a swipe card system.
The second phase of the West Suffolk DDA Refurbishment project is scheduled to commence in June 2012 at a cost of £200,000. The architect for both of the phases is KLH Architects.
David Mason, Brooks & Wood Limited, said:
“This was a challenging project as we were working within a fully operational hospital. As a result, we had to deal with a substantial volume of foot traffic and divert pedestrians to other routes whilst we closed off a section steps.
“We are very pleased to be working with West Suffolk Hospital again as they are an esteemed client and we value our strong working relationship with them.”
The project is part of an extensive programme of improvement works that is being carried out by West Suffolk Hospital.
In October 2011 an £800,000 project to relocate and refurbish the F8 ward began, promptly followed by a £522,000 backlog maintenance project that comprised a range of works to ensure the hospital’s compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act. These works included the replacement of lighting, the cleaning of theatre ventilation equipment and the upgrading of medical gas systems.
In order to allow the hospital to continue carrying out minor procedure during the project, a waiting room was converted into a local anaesthetic theatre. The extra theatre has remained in use and has increased the hospital’s capacity in order to allow it to cater for more patients.
Commenting on the project, Gwen Nuttall, Executive Chief Operating Officer at West Suffolk Hospital, said:
“This major investment underlines our commitment to continually improving both the fabric of the hospital and our services for the benefit of the patients we care for. Not only will the refurbished unit provide patients with a nicer environment in which to receive treatment, but will also help us to work more efficiently.
“Relocating our EAU to a new base directly above the A&E will also make it easier to transfer patients between the units, further improving the experience they have while using our services.”