HOME Secretary Priti Patel says Colchester Hospital being chosen as the preferred site for a new £30 million orthopaedic centre is “fantastic news” for constituents.

Ms Patel, whose Witham constituency includes Stanway, has welcomed the decision by the East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust to select Colchester for the new centre.

Set to open in 2024, the development is part of £44 million investment planned for the hospital, where the day surgery unit will also be rebuilt.

Ms Patel said: “This announcement is extremely welcome and fantastic news for my constituents.

“In my constituency, there is no hospital or significant outpatient service and having to travel all the way to Ipswich to access vital health services would be a real hardship.

“A public consultation has been launched and I would encourage Witham constituents to respond and make their views known about this proposal.

“A final decision on the new centre is expected in the summer and I will continue to make the case for this to be based at Colchester Hospital.”

Visit esneft.nhs.uk/ publicconsultation.