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Updated 30 December 2022

14 December 2022

Refurbishment of Dorset County Hospital’s existing Emergency Department (ED) is now complete.

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

The scheme aimed to enhance infection prevention and control measures and increase capacity of the resuscitation and treatment areas.

Dorset County Hospital has plans to expand over the next few years, including building a brand-new Emergency Department and Critical Care Unit on site. The refurbishment provides much-needed improved and additional space in the short-term and will pave the way for a new building.

The scheme, designed by Medical Architecture and brought to life by contractor Willmott Dixon, includes 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 provides a new entrance and waiting area, larger resuscitation rooms, bigger cubicles, a new digital system and better facilities for staff.

Nick Johnson, Interim Chief Executive of Dorset County Hospital, said:

“We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to refurbish our existing Emergency Department. Although we have exciting plans for a new building in the future, this is a few years away – so to have some improvements while we develop our plans is very welcome and has allowed us to increase our capacity now to treat the increasing number of patients coming through our doors.

“The Emergency Department remained open 24/7 while the project was carried out and I would like to thank our staff for continuing to provide outstanding levels of care while juggling the challenges that construction work brings, and also thank patients for bearing with us.”

Richard Poulter, Managing Director for Willmott Dixon’s Central South business said: “We are delighted to handover a newly refurbished Emergency Department to Dorset County Hospital, providing a cutting edge space for our NHS to continue their brilliant work.

“Furthermore, we have been proud to leave a biodiversity legacy in the local area, while on site we have planted more than 600 tree whips on the rapidly emerging new community woodland at Kings Road in Dorchester, creating a space for local residents to enjoy.”