The new West Suffolk Hospital will be completed by its 2030 target, the government has confirmed.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay has re-affirmed the government's pledge to build a new state-of-the-art hospital in Bury St Edmunds within seven years.

Plans for the new hospital on the site of Hardwick Manor were given the green light last November.

Documents submitted with the application said the new hospital was of "critical importance" given the current issues with the existing concrete hospital building.

The current West Suffolk Hospital, in Hardwick Lane, is one of a number of hospitals known to be affected by reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

East Anglian Daily Times: West Suffolk Hospital is being rebuiltWest Suffolk Hospital is being rebuilt (Image: Archant)

The government had previously pledged to build 40 new hospitals by 2030.

But Mr Barclay told the House of Commons on Thursday: "We have learned more about the use of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete, which is more commonly known as RAAC."

"We now know that RAAC has a limited lifespan, with difficult and dangerous consequences for the people who rely on or work in those hospitals.”

He added: "Seven hospitals in England have been constructed either wholly or in major part with RAAC. And an independent assessment shows they are not safe to operate beyond 2030."

Mr Barclay said two, West Suffolk Hospital and James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, are already part of the new hospitals programme and that the five remaining had submitted expressions of interest but were not yet previously a part of it, before going on to outline that they will now be included.

After Mr Barclay's announcement, Ewen Cameron, chief executive of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are delighted to hear of the government’s commitment to replacing hospitals, like ours in West Suffolk, containing RAAC. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Ewen Cameron, of West Suffolk HospitalEwen Cameron, of West Suffolk Hospital (Image: WSFT)

"The safety of patients, staff, and visitors is our priority and we have always followed expert, independent advice when it comes to the management of our buildings, and we will continue to do so, until we move to a new hospital site."