What next for hospitals?

THE future of Sudbury’s two community hospitals remain undecided.

Questions are already being asked on what will become of the Walnuttree and St Leonard’s Hospital buildings after planning permission for the town’s new £10million health centre was granted last week.

The development will see outpatient services based at the two hospitals, as well as Acton Lane Clinic and Siam GP Surgery, moved into the 3,300 square metre centre in Church Field Road, Chilton.

Peter Thorogood, chairman of the Sudbury Society, said he believed both buildings should be saved.

“I think the new development is marvellous news but it leaves these two buildings redundant,” he said. “I would like to see them both maintained as they have wonderful history and I want to make sure the bulldozers don’t move in.”

Mr Thorogood said the society was likely to renew attempts to get the Walnuttree – a former workhouse which was built in 1837 – listed.

“That is our aim, but we have to be realistic and it could be used as apartments with an area for civic use if it saves the building,” he said.

A spokesman for NHS Suffolk said no decisions on the hospitals would be made until their services were moved into the new health centre. Work is expected to begin in May.