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Updated 6 July 2023

Health organisations in Dorset have secured more than £14m to transform two floors of South Walks House in Dorchester into clinical space.

Dorset County Hospital (DCH) had been running an Outpatient Assessment Centre on one floor of the building, which is owned by Dorset Council, since November 2021.

This was initially set up as a temporary measure to tackle NHS waiting lists and was created as part of the Dorset Health Village -  a partnership between NHS Dorset, Dorset HealthCare, Active Dorset and Live Well Dorset. Patients were invited to attend orthopaedic, musculoskeletal and physiotherapy appointments.

The centre has been a great success and, in March 2022 , DCH signed a 20-year lease with Dorset Council to use three additional floors of the building on a long-term basis - allowing the Trust to maximise the use of clinical space on the main hospital site.

The building will be used for a combination of clinical and office purposes, with non-clinical teams already using two floors of the building.

A Targeted Investment Fund bid  was submitted to NHS Improvement to help turn the temporary centre into a more permanent facility and expand the clinical services offered at South Walks House.

The refurbishment will include outpatient clinics, diagnostics, day case capacity and a procedure room.

While these building works are carried out, the Outpatient Assessment Centre at South Walks House has temporarily moved to Vespasian House in Dorchester to allow the essential works to be carried out.

The aim is that the Outpatient Assessment Centre and additional clinical services will start operating from South Walks House towards the end of 2023.

Wall of Kindness

Our construction partner, Tilbury Douglas, has opened its wall of kindness on the site hoardings at South Walks House. It runs on a ‘leave what you don’t need, take what you do’ basis. Typical items can include clean clothes, shoes, non-perishable foods, toiletries, kids' books and toys. It will be open during site opening times in the week and locked up overnight and over the weekend.

Construction updates