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Musgrove Park Hospital’s new surgical centre moves a step closer - 10 January 2019

Musgrove Park Hospital’s new surgical centre moves a step closer - 10 January 2019

The new £80 million surgical centre at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton has moved a step closer after the Government approved the draft plans.

The outline business case for the new build, which will include state-of-the-art operating theatres, critical care unit and an endoscopy suite, was recently given the go ahead by HM Treasury and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The new surgical centre will greatly improve patient care as it will replace much of Musgrove’s ageing 1940s buildings where some of the most critically ill people in Somerset are cared for.

Instead, critical care services will be provided in a modern, high quality and adaptable building that’s able to meet the future needs of patients as medicine and healthcare make further advances.

Work can now progress on the detailed planning and contractual arrangements to build the new development and hospital bosses can prepare a full business case to be submitted to the treasury and DHSC for final approval.

Kier Health has been appointed to support in the development these plans and will provide the design and construction expertise that will be required to develop outstanding new surgical facilities.

The new surgical centre will include: 

  • Six endoscopy rooms, patient recovery and clinical support areas
  • Eight operating theatres (including two interventional radiology theatres), recovery areas and clinical support.
  • 22 critical care beds, all specified for level 2 and 3 critical care patients

Dr Stuart Walker, chief medical officer at Musgrove Park Hospital, said:

“This is an important milestone in the development of our new surgical centre as it means we can now start to plan the business case in more detail.

"We are all excited to be embarking on this new phase. We know how important it is to our local population, and staff, that they have the best possible hospital facilities in which to provide excellent care.

“It will mean a major improvement in the design, layout and physical environment that we care for our patients, which will improve safety and enable our staff to work more effectively.

“This can only further improve the quality of care that our staff can give and consequently enhance the overall patient experience.

“The new theatres and critical care facilities will provide such an upgrade to Musgrove Park Hospital, for the benefit of our community." 

The hospital trust has also appointed Esther Rolinson as the lead artist for the surgical centre.

Esther has extensive experience of working on a number of large public sector schemes across the UK and will join the design team for the new surgical centre.

The original hospital was built during the Second World War as a temporary casualty evacuation hospital for the D-Day landings, but has become increasingly difficult to maintain.

It is expected that the first patients will be cared for in the new surgical centre by early 2024.

In addition to the progress on the surgical centre, the Secretary of State for Health recently announced an £11.5m investment at the Musgrove Park Hospital site.

The plans involve moving the hospital’s surgical assessment unit closer to the hospital’s emergency department which will mean faster access to consultants and surgeons and quicker assessments for patients who may require emergency surgery.

The surgical admissions unit is located in World War II ‘nightingale’ style ward accommodation that is unsuitable for modern standards of care and is some distance from the surgical operating theatres.

Locating acute assessment in the centre of the hospital will lead to better working relationships and improved efficiency between the admitting teams in the hospital and, ultimately, improve patient safety and care by ensuring patients receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.