Plans behind a new £5.3million state-of-the-art Breast Care Centre at Ipswich Hospital are being shared this week.
The new centre will transform the experience patients have when they come to hospital by bringing all elements of breast care under one roof – the clinic, the imaging department and breast screening.
Consultant breast surgeon Caroline Mortimer said: “A new centre will make such a difference to patients. Our fabulous clinical teams already provide gold standard treatment, and this will give them an environment to match.”
Consultant breast surgeon Mr Hussein Tuffaha added: “As well as being clinically excellent, it will be welcoming, spacious and calming and will give our patients and their loved ones a far better experience when visiting.”
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), the organisation which runs Ipswich Hospital, is submitting a detailed planning application for the new centre to the local council this week.
The new centre is a partnership between NHS funding from ESNEFT and a fundraising appeal called the Blossom Appeal by Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity.
We’ve already raised £4.1million from the support of NHS funding and the local community, but we need your help to raise the £1.2million needed to complete this vital project. There are lots of ways to get involved in fundraising – see the Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity website.
Mandy Jordan, associate director of Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, said: “The charity is hugely proud to be a partner in this exciting project.
“All the money raised and donated through the charity will go towards making the centre state-of-the-art. There will be extra equipment, artwork, peaceful indoor spaces and gardens. We can provide dedicated areas for patients to be able to hold support groups and meetings.
“We want to thank all the fundraisers and donors who have supported the Blossom Appeal so far, as well as rallying local people to get involved and help us raise that last £1.2million.”
The number of patients needing breast care is on the rise but at Ipswich Hospital there isn’t a dedicated clinic. The breast care team shares clinic space with other clinical departments so it isn’t tailored to breast care.
The new centre will create this dedicated space and will also bring breast screening and breast imaging under the same roof. Patients will no longer need to walk backwards and forwards between the departments as they do now, often needing to get dressed and undressed again and spend longer in waiting rooms.
If planning is approved, the new centre is due to open in the central outpatients’ area of the hospital in spring 2022.
The Breast Care Centre is one of a number of building developments planned for Ipswich Hospital. Plans are also underway to build a new Urgent Treatment Centre and Emergency Department and, thanks to another partnership between ESNEFT and Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity, a new Children’s Unit will be built.
A patient’s story
Sylvia Cameron, 70, was diagnosed with breast cancer in her left breast in March 2018. As well as a mastectomy, the mother-of-one had four operations and six months of chemotherapy at Ipswich Hospital. The grandmother to baby Léo and four-year-old Alice lives in Felixstowe and is married to Keith.
She said: “When I was diagnosed my family were frightened I wouldn’t make it, but I knew I would. I try to keep really positive – you have to. I’ve never stopped being positive throughout the treatment and I’m the same now.
“I had my treatment at Ipswich Hospital and the breast clinic [team] were with me all the way. They were amazing throughout it all.
“I have an implant on my right side, but I don’t have one on my left. It was strange at first, I didn’t like my husband seeing me like this – now I don’t care because I’m still here and still alive! It’s become a talking point when I’m out and wearing a top that’s tight so you can see the difference.
“The staff at the hospital were always on the end of the phone or they’d always fit me in if I had any worries. I can’t fault them at all, but the facilities aren’t great. It would be so much nicer if patients had one centre they could go for treatment. More space and different areas would be fantastic – especially if it was colourful too!
“I think it would be great to have a quiet area, a space you can just sit by yourself and somewhere you can get a coffee and relax as it’s a stressful time.
“A space for men would be great too – as there are men who get breast cancer. I saw men come in and it must’ve been hard for them.
“The team is amazing but having a better space would make it even better.”Back to top