Dorset

Dorset County Hospital wins £62m from government for expansion

Artist's impression of new hospital multi-storey car park Image copyright Dorset County Hospital NHS Trust
Image caption A plan for a multi-storey car park to free up land is due to be discussed by Dorset Council in August

A hospital has been allocated £62m by the government to expand its A&E and intensive care departments.

Dorset County Hospital NHS Trust said expansion was needed to cope safely with an increasing number of patients.

It said it would also establish a centre for outpatient care.

A previous application to build a multi-storey car park to free up land at the Dorchester site is due to be discussed by Dorset Council in August.

The hospital's strategy director Nick Johnson said the project had been designated as a priority under the government's Health Infrastructure Plan.

He said: "Our existing Emergency Department and ICU were not built to accommodate the volume of patients we are seeing now.

"We must create additional space and facilities to ensure the safety of our patients."

The hospital said its emergency department, which was designed for 22,000 patients a year, was seeing nearly 50,000 people prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.

It said the new facilities would be built on top of surface-level car parks as extensions to existing buildings.

The multi-storey car park, submitted in October 2019, is due to be discussed by planners on 18 August.

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