Contractor Integrated Health Projects can start work to expand the emergency department at the hospital in Blackpool more than two years earlier than planned, after the project secured £2.8m from the Government.
The hospital’s trust was allocated the funds from a £300m Government pot that is being distributed nationally to help hospitals improve their facilities before winter.
As a result of the funding, the waiting area and the Minors department – the part of the hospital that treats minor injuries and illnesses – will be extended by Christmas. The work is being undertaken by Integrated Health Projcts, a joint venture between contractors Vinci Construction and Sir Robert McAlpine.
The extension forms part of plans for a £13m ‘emergency village’ at the hospital, designed by architect Gilling Dod.
The development will see a critical care building constructed behind the current emergency department and urgent care centre. The existing high dependency unit and intensive care units will move to free up room for the emergency department to expand.
The trust is due to receive the £13m from a £963m fund set aside by Government in 2018 to improve health facilities across England.
To unlock this funding, the trust must submit a business case for the project and this is expected next month. The trust is working with Lancashire and South Cumbria Care NHS Foundation Trust. Work on the bigger scheme is scheduled to begin in 2022.
As part of the Emergency Village, a mental health liaison unit is being developed on the Blackpool Victoria site adjacent to the Emergency Department.
Nigel Fort, development lead for Emergency Village and critical care, said: “A fundamental element of the redesign of the emergency department has been to open up the waiting area, which gives us an opportunity to increase our social distancing capability almost five-fold compared to the existing position.”