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Updated 8 November 2021

28 October 2021

Work to improve the Emergency Department (ED) at Dorset County Hospital (DCH) is underway.

The Trust has received one-off funding from NHS England of £15million, as part of a drive to upgrade a number of Emergency Departments across the country.

The scheme aims to enhance infection prevention and control measures and reduce the risk of 'corridor care' by increasing the capacity of the resuscitation and treatment areas.

DCH is using the money to refurbish its current ED in preparation for longer-term plans to expand and transform both ED and the Intensive Care Unit.

Nick Johnson, Deputy Chief Executive at Dorset County Hospital, said: “It’s an exciting time for us at Dorset County Hospital as we move forward with plans to develop our site over the next five years.”

“This refurbishment will allow us to improve the Emergency Department now, making a huge difference to our patients, relatives and staff while we continue to develop longer-term plans for the site.”

“It will help increase capacity to meet the current demand and give every patient the care and support they need, as well as provide staff with a better place to work, enabling them to continue to provide outstanding care to those who need it.”

The building alterations, carried out by Willmott Dixon Construction, include two extensions - one in the courtyard at the rear of ED and one at the front entrance - as well as refurbishment of the existing ED. It will provide a new entrance and waiting area, larger resuscitation rooms, bigger cubicles and many other improvements.

Dr Steve Meek, Emergency Department Clinical Lead, said: “The scale of investment in our Emergency Department is very exciting. The improvements are very much patient-focused and will provide modern state of the art facilities, allowing us to care for patients in a safe and timely manner.”

Richard Poulter, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon’s Central South region said:

“We are proud to be onsite at Dorset County Hospital to deliver these vital facilities. We are working closely with Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to ensure the refurbishments, while being delivered in a live environment, allows the hospital’s Emergency Department to remain fully operational.”

The refurbishment work has been planned in a way that minimises disruption, making sure that the ED remains open 24/7 and is expected to be completed in summer 2022.

Artist impression of the new Emergency Department entrance with more ambulance bays and easier access
Artist impression of the new Emergency Department entrance