£62m for County Hospital Emergency and Intensive Care expansion

£62m for County Hospital Emergency and Intensive Care expansion

Published by George Sharpe at 11:50am 31st July 2020. (Updated at 11:56am 31st July 2020)

Dorset County Hospital has been allocated £62.5million of Government funding to expand key clinical services on its Dorchester site.

The first phase of the plan is to build a multi-storey car park (plans pictured).

The money has been allocated to DCH as part of the National Health Infrastructure Plan and the project has been recognised as a priority by the Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust's board. 

The plans include:

  • Expanding the Emergency Department (ED) and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
  • Establishing an Integrated Care Hub as part of a long-term project to deliver recommendations of Dorset's Clinical Services Review. 

The first phase of development is to free up land on the hospital site by building a multi-storey car park. 

Board members were told that the planning application for the multi-storey, which was submitted to Dorset Council in October 2019, is due to be heard at the Northern Area Planning Committee on 18th August 2020. 

The hospital's Director of Strategy, Transformation and Partnerships Nick Johnson, he said:

"We are delighted to have been allocated £62.5million of Government funding for the development of these essential clinical facilities and named as a national priority project.

"However, before we can progress with this major building programme we need to free up space on the hospital site by constructing a multi-storey car park to accommodate the lost spaces and improve parking for patients, visitors and staff.

"Anyone visiting our hospital knows that parking has been an issue for many years so we simply cannot build on our car parks without replacing the spaces. We’re committed to green travel but many people coming to our hospital need to travel by car as the public transport links from rural areas of Dorset are simply not adequate.

Dorset County Hospital Multistorey

Nick Johnson said the development of these clinical facilities is vital to make sure they can continue to meet the ever-increasing demand on their services :

"Our existing Emergency Department and ICU were not built to accommodate the volume of patients we are seeing now. Our clinical teams have responded magnificently to the additional challenges coronavirus has brought, but it is now more clear than ever that we must create additional space and facilities to ensure the safety of our patients.

"We will work closely with our contractors to make sure local people are employed and local suppliers are used for our building programme, bringing over £4million into the local economy. We are also planning to develop other land on our site for affordable housing local key workers."

You can find more details about Dorset County Hospital’s site development plans on their website.

The planning application for the multi-storey can be viewed on Dorset Council's online planning portal, where members of the public can also submit comments on the application.