Poole Hospital asbestos discovery delays site expansion

image copyrightAD Architects
image captionThe five-storey blocks will house eight new operating theatres

A major project to build eight new operating theatres at a Dorset hospital has been delayed after asbestos was discovered during construction work.

University Hospitals Dorset started work on the five-storey block at Poole Hospital in January.

The project is part of a transformation of the site following the merger of Poole Hospital and Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals last year.

Building work is expected to be on hold for nine weeks.

A report published in the trust's board papers announced the delay, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The trust's chief executive Debbie Fleming said: "Work on the Poole theatres has had to be temporarily paused as a consequence of asbestos being discovered in the existing building."

Full planning permission for the project was granted by BCP Council last year as part of a £150m overhaul of NHS services in the county.

It attracted hundreds of objections, but the trust's aim is to complete construction in 2023.

A new pathology lab will be created, along with a 24-hour, GP-led Urgent Treatment Centre for people with non-life threatening conditions.

Outpatient, day treatment and diagnostic services will expand, and existing theatres will also be upgraded, bringing the total to 15 operating theatres.

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