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Dorset hospital’s £100m A&E plans approved

CGI of Dorset County Hospital’s new A&E [image from BDP]

A new emergency department and critical care unit will be built on the on the site of the former Damers School, which the hospital trust owns.

Tilbury Douglas was appointed main contractor in June 2022, when costs were put at £77m. In its report, Progress with the New Hospital Programme, published in July this year, the National Audit Office revealed that the cost was now put at £100m and the forecast operational date was April 2027, 10 months later than had been planned last year.

The new facility, designed by BDP, will include a rooftop helipad, purpose-built spaces for both major and minor injuries and conditions, a mental health facility, an emergency paediatrics area, 24 critical care beds and an ambulance arrivals and fast assessment area.

The hospital trust submitted its reserved matters application to Dorset Council over the summer after receiving outlining planning permission in January. Now that these have now been approved, DCH has full planning permission to build the new emergency department and critical care unit.

The former Damers School building was demolished over the summer and groundworks to prepare the site for development will begin in October.

Subject to full business case approval by the government, main construction work on the is due to begin in 2024.

Tilbury Douglas divisional director Paul Gale said: “Achieving the green light from the planners is a really exciting moment, not only for the local community, but the project teams whose dedicated work has secured this lifechanging resource.

“Our teams are geared up for the next stages of construction and we’re looking forward to moving ahead with enabling works and the main New Hospital Programme scheme on site.”

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