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Updated 20 February 2024

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.

The newly refurbished Outpatient Assessment Centre started operating from South Walks House in February 2024. Find out more about the facility

Read our press release.

Ridgeway Ward Refurbishment

As part of the funding bid for South Walks House, Ridgeway Ward is being refurbished into a 24-bedded ward for orthopaedic elective surgery patients.

The £1.4million scheme is being funded by NHS England and is the second phase of a the project.

The refurbishment on Ridgeway Ward will help the Trust reduce waiting times for elective orthopaedic surgery and improve patient outcomes. Read more.

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