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Updated 27 April 2023

27 June 2022

Dorset County Hospital (DCH) has selected Tilbury Douglas, a leading UK building, infrastructure, engineering and fit-out business, as its main contractor to design and build a brand-new Emergency Department and Critical Care Unit.

The scheme is listed as part of the government’s New Hospital Programme (NHP), which commits to building 40 new hospitals by 2030.

DCH has submitted an outline planning application seeking permission for the new Emergency Department (ED) and Critical Care Unit to be built on the former Damers School site, which forms part of the Trust’s estate.

The existing ED sees twice the number of people that it was originally built for. And with a growing population, increased tourism and the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for critical care services has never been higher.

The new building would offer the space needed to help the Trust continue to serve the local community over the next 25 years.

Linking to the existing hospital, the layout for the Emergency Department would be designed to improve patient flow through the department, with dedicated areas for majors, minor injuries and paediatrics.

The new Critical Care Unit (CrCU) would sit directly above the new Emergency Department, allowing the Trust to increase its number of CrCU beds from 11 to 24 plus add a new helipad onto the roof.

DCH used ProCure22, an approved procurement process, to select its Principal Supply Chain Partner. The framework provides design and construction services for use by the NHS and Social Care organisations.

Subject to planning permission and agreement from the government, it is hoped that construction will begin in 2024. 

DCH selected Tilbury Douglas following a competitive process. With more than 130 years of experience in the construction and engineering sector, Tilbury Douglas provides specialist design and build capabilities and is experienced at project management and integrating all aspects of a project to achieve outstanding results.

Paul Goddard, Chief Financial Officer at Dorset County Hospital and project sponsor for the Trust’s NHP scheme, said: “We’re delighted to have chosen Tilbury Douglas as the main contractor for a brand-new Emergency Department and Critical Care Unit at Dorset County Hospital. What really makes them stand out is their clinical knowledge and passion for creating a building that meets the needs of our patients, staff and visitors. This really is a once in a generation opportunity to expand our hospital and make sure we can continue to offer outstanding care to patients for years to come.”

Paul Gale, Divisional Director at Tilbury Douglas said: “We are proud to have been selected to deliver such an important project that will really benefit the local community for generations to come. Having previously delivered the Robert White Centre Radiology Building for the Trust in 2018, our proven track record and knowledge of the hospital will enable us to move ahead with this scheme with a strong understating of the clinical needs of the Trust.”

Natalie Forrest, Senior Responsible Owner for the New Hospital Programme, said: “This is a significant milestone for Dorset County Hospital, which will help more people in the area access emergency care for decades to come, as the government delivers on its commitment to build 40 new hospitals by 2030.

“Patients will be given treatment in new major and minor injury and paediatric units, creating more efficient ways of working for patients and ensuring more people can be seen quicker.

“These new facilities will help Dorset County Hospital meet rising demand, providing patients with the outstanding care they deserve and offering NHS staff a better place to work.”