Still time to give views on West Suffolk Hospital orthopaedic surgery move proposal

Posted on in West Suffolk News

More than 1000 responses have so far been received in response to a proposal to move around 55% of elective orthopaedic surgery from West Suffolk Hospital to the Essex and Suffolk Elective Orthopaedic Centre in Colchester (ESEOC).

This six-week engagement exercise, which began on 20 May, is now at the halfway stage, with all feedback needing to be received by 30 June.

When the ESEOC facility opens later this year it will be one of the largest centres of its kind in Europe and will be entirely dedicated to planned orthopaedic surgery, operating on more than 10,000 patients every year from across the area. The proposal outlines how relocating some surgical operations to this new centre would increase capacity and enable speedier treatment for those needing hip, knee, ankle and shoulder surgery.

Mindful of the potential impact on local people, the NHS is working in partnership with Healthwatch Suffolk to gather views on how implementing the proposal could affect the west Suffolk community.

Details of the plans can be read here – Essex and Suffolk Elective Orthopaedic Centre public engagement 2024 – NHS Suffolk and North East Essex ICB and there are a number of ways people can make their views known, including by completing an anonymous survey by visiting Share views on NHS plans to move orthopaedic surgery from west Suffolk to Colchester ( There is also the option to request a hard copy feedback form by calling Healthwatch Suffolk on 0800 448 8234.

The first of a number of mini-exhibitions took place in Bury St Edmunds last Saturday (8 June), with others being held across west Suffolk over the coming weeks, allowing members of the public to learn more about the proposal, speak to clinicians and have their say.  Future events, which are open to everyone to drop in – so there is no need to book – are as follows:

  • Tuesday 11 June, 10 a.m. -12 noon, Newmarket Racing Centre, Fred Archer Way, Newmarket CB8 8NT
  • Tuesday 11 June, 2.30 – 4.30 p.m., Innovation Centre, Croxton Rd, Thetford IP24 1JD
  • Wednesday 12 June, 6 – 8 p.m., Haverhill Arts Centre, High Street, Haverhill CB9 8AR
  • Thursday 13 June, 2 – 4 p.m., Kingfisher Leisure Centre, Station Road, Sudbury CO10 2SU
  • Friday 14 June, 5 – 7 p.m., New Bury Community Centre, 1 Charles Pl, Bury St Edmunds IP32 6TD
  • Tuesday 18 June, 10 a.m -12 noon, Main Hall, St John’s Centre, St John’s Close, Mildenhall IP28 7NX
  • Tuesday 25 June, 2 – 4 p.m., Brandon Leisure and Health Hub, Church Road, Brandon IP27 0JB

Nicola Cottington, chief operating officer at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust commented:

“We are planning to move about 55% of our elective orthopaedic surgery, such as hip and knee replacements as well as some foot and ankle surgery, from West Suffolk Hospital to a new, state of the art, facility, called the Essex and Suffolk Elective Orthopaedic Centre (ESEOC), in Colchester.

“With eight new theatres and three wards dedicated entirely to planned orthopaedic surgery, the benefits of this move are that there will be reduced waiting times for patients and that people are less likely to have their operations cancelled at the last minute.

“The six-week public engagement exercise is open until the end of June and is seeking the views of everyone in our community about these plans. I would urge you to take the opportunity to attend one of our events, complete the survey and have your say.”

Andrew Dunn is Clinical Director at the Essex and Suffolk Elective Orthopaedic Centre.  He said: “Should this proposal come to fruition there would be definite benefits for patients across west Suffolk.

“There would be increased capacity which means patients would not have to wait so long to receive treatment and reduce the time they are living with discomfort and pain.

“Implementing the proposal would also free up an operating theatre at West Suffolk Hospital which will also create more capacity for other procedures.

“I urge people to take time to consider these proposals and tell us how they feel about them.”

Simon Morgan, Associate Director of Communications at NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board, said: “The number of responses received so far has been impressive and I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to consider the proposal and share their views.

“We’ve worked hard to make it as easy as possible for people to access the information they need, either online or by paper forms or in person at one of the many mini-exhibitions.

“Having received this number of responses so far indicates this is an important issue for many. I hope that by the end of June when this engagement closes many more will have been able to give valued and informed feedback.”