The roof of Ipswich Hospital's new multi-million Breast Care Centre has been completed, marking a major milestone for the building project.

With work now beginning inside, construction of the specialist NHS centre is set to be completed in time for opening this winter.

The new facility will bring all elements of breast care under one roof - the clinic, the imaging and hospital breast screening.

Nick Hulme is chief executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), the organisation which runs Ipswich Hospital.

He said: “This new centre will transform hospital visits for breast care patients. The care our clinical teams give to patients is outstanding and now we can provide an environment to match.”

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 hospital 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 a long time in waiting rooms.

An investment of £5.3million, the project is a partnership between NHS funding from ESNEFT and a fundraising appeal called the Blossom Appeal by Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity.

The Breast Care Centre will be in the central outpatients’ area of the hospital.

A fundraising abseil event at the hospital last month raised £93,000.

More than 200 people took part in the abseil including Mr Hulme.

Mandy Jordan, associate director of the hospitals charity, said: “All the money donated through the charity will go towards making the Breast Care Centre exceptional. There will be extra equipment, artwork and peaceful indoor spaces and gardens.

“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 the final £400,000 needed.”

Paul Fenton, director of estates and facilities at ESNEFT, said: “Topping out is a day to celebrate as we move ever closer to opening this new centre.

"The building will be fit to house state-of-the-art healthcare and will make a huge difference to our patients.”