A major investment in NHS services has begun with a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the official start of a £47m scheme to build a new urgent and emergency care centre at Scarborough Hospital.
Enabling works in readiness for the largest capital scheme ever undertaken by the trust have already begun and the new centre is planned to open in the spring of 2024.
The work comes as attendances at Scarborough’s emergency department have increased at a rate of around 5% year on year for over a decade, and the new build will provide much-needed extra space.
It will also mean patients with minor to complex needs can be looked after in the unit by one team of healthcare professionals working together who will see more patients as quickly and safely as possible.
And the centre, designed by IBI Group and built by Integrated Health Projects, a partnership of Vinci Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpin, will have its own dedicated diagnostic zone providing CT scans, general X-ray, and ultrasound.
Dr Ed Smith, consultant in emergency medicine and deputy medical director at York and Scarborough Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “When the existing emergency department opened at Scarborough Hospital in 1985 the annual attendance was 15,000 patients per year. We now see close to 70,000.
The two-storey building will offer same-day emergency care services and will house an acute medical unit
“Not only will this new facility function as a hub for the 24-hour-a-day provision of urgent and emergency care services for the locality, it will also allow Scarborough-based healthcare professionals to provide high-quality care to all our patients in state-of-the-art facilities for many years to come.”
The project includes a two-storey new build combining and expanding the current emergency department, same-day emergency care, and an acute medical unit.
As well as improving outcomes for the frail elderly, it will also ensure some of the most-critically-ill patients are cared for in one integrated clinical ward environment, rather than being moved to other wards.
The second floor will house critical care services and will increase bed capacity, which will help relieve the pressure on beds elsewhere in the trust.
The scheme also includes work to address essential site-wide engineering infrastructure, which will see major improvements to the electrical system, ventilation, and drainage.
Simon Morritt, trust chief executive, said: “This development is extremely good news for our staff and for the Scarborough community.
“It will move us forward significantly in the delivery of urgent and emergency services that are fit for purpose and of a quality that our staff and our communities on the East Coast can be rightly proud.
“It marks York and Scarborough Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s commitment to the long-term future of Scarborough Hospital and brings urgent and emergency care into the 21st Century for the local community.”