Work underway to transform Musgrove Park Hospital

New acute assessment hub receives full planning permission

Musgrove Park Hospital has received government funding to help improve facilities for staff, patients and visitors, including creation of a new therapies building that forms part of the acute assessment hub

A major milestone has been reached in a key project to transform and modernise critical care and assessment services at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

Main construction work on a new acute assessment hub that will include a new three-storey building for the therapies department has now begun.

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, along with community and mental health services in Somerset, is one of 21 organisations expected to benefit from the Department of Health and Social Care's hospital building programme, with potential funding of £450m.

The next steps of the trust's ambitious plan - called Musgrove 2030 - will include a new maternity and children’s building and further development of its cancer and emergency services.

This is in addition to the plans for a new surgical centre, acute assessment hub, therapies department. and maternity refurbishments at the site.

Designed by BDP’s South West team, and being delivered by contractor, Kier; the acute assessment hub is a game changer for the hospital.

It will include an admission hub for those patients who need to be admitted for additional care and a unit for those who require emergency treatment that can be delivered on the same day, without the need to be admitted overnight.

The current 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.

In the future, it will be included in the acute assessment hub, adjacent to the emergency department.

The new acute assessment hub, designed by BDP Architects, will replace outdated Nightingale-style wards which are no longer fit for purpose

This comes after the trust secured full planning permission from the district council for both the acute assessment hub and surgical centre, which has also been designed by BDP, as well as NHS Improvement's approval of the full business case for the acute assessment hub.

Adrian Hitchcock, architect director at BDP, which also designed the hospital's Jubilee Building that opened in 2014, said: “At a time when it is more important than ever to ensure healthcare services are fit for the future and adaptable, it's excellent news that works are forging ahead at Musgrove Park Hospital to ensure their teams can deliver the very-best care to their patients.

"We are always looking to raise the bar in terms of devising innovative healthcare design that meets the needs of future generations and this approach is certainly illustrated in the projects we are undertaking at Musgrove Park.

“The acute assessment hub will mean significant improvements in the facilities for patients needing emergency assessment and streamlines access to treatment through the co-location of clinical services.''

Dr Matthew Hayman, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust's deputy chief medical officer, added: "I am very proud of the quality of care that my colleagues provide to our patients at Musgrove Park Hospital, but some of these hospital services are housed in facilities that were built in the 1940s and are simply not good enough.

"We are very excited by the improvements we can make to the care we provide and to our patients’ experience by planning and building modern state-of-the-art facilities that are optimally configured and placed alongside one another, which will enable us to improve how we deliver care to our patients."

The acute assessment centre is due to be complete in early 2022.

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