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Updated 27 April 2023

24 March 2023

People coming to Dorset County Hospital next week are being advised to allow for extra time, as sections of the new modular discharge lounge will arrive on site from Monday (27 March).

The Trust secured £2million from NHS England as part of a scheme to expand hospital discharge lounges for patients that are waiting for their medication or transport once they are medically fit to leave hospital.

The funding is being used to install a single-storey modular building in the North Wing Entrance 2 Car Park. It has been pre-made and will be assembled on site.

It will provide a much larger space for patients to stay while they wait to be discharged, freeing up beds in the meantime for patients that need to be admitted. It will include a discharge lounge for 15 patients, 12 inpatient beds and four side rooms.

The building will be delivered in sections over four days. The sections will arrive on a lorry and then be craned into place on site.

The Trust is expecting up to five deliveries each day and contractors have been asked to avoid the hospital’s busiest times (8.30am-9.30am, 12.30pm-1.30pm and 4.30pm-5.30pm.)

The lorry will enter the hospital site via the main entrance on Williams Avenue and make its way up to North Wing to deliver the sections. It will then reverse back out again. During this time traffic will be managed by contractors and hospital staff, so people are advised to allow themselves extra time as there will be traffic hold ups throughout the day.

There will still be a few parking spaces available in the lower part of the North Wing Car Park while the deliveries take place, but the Trust recommends people use the multi-storey car park and spaces on the East Wing side of the hospital, which now has additional disabled parking bays below the pencils sculpture.

Tristan Chapman, Programme Director at Dorset County Hospital, said: “This building will give us the much-needed space to accommodate more patients who are medically fit to leave hospital, which in turn will free up beds on our wards for those that need to be admitted. As it is a pre-made modular unit, the building will go up quickly, which means we can make use of it very soon.

“We advise people to allow themselves extra time if they are visiting us between Monday 27 and Thursday 30 March. We apologise for the disruption that the delivery will cause for patients, staff and visitors, and thank everyone for their patience.”

Work is due to be completed by mid-May.

North Wing Entrance 2 Car Park - where the new discharge lounge will go.