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Proposals to invest £20m in new and refurbished operating theatres at Darlington Memorial Hospital
ONE of the biggest North-East NHS hospital trusts is planning to invest £20m in refurbishing and extending operating theatres at one of its hospitals.
An outline business case for the expansion has been agreed, and the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is now developing detailed proposals.
The investment will see new operating theatres built at Darlington Memorial Hospital and existing theatres refurbished. The final number and configuration of theatres will be agreed as part of the full business case.
The project will also include improvements to the recovery suite, the day surgery facilities and the associated post and pre-operative ward areas.
The Trust's director of estates, Bill Headley, said: "This project demonstrates our continued commitment to the redevelopment of the Darlington Memorial Hospital site. It will give the hospital modern and well-equipped theatres - helping us to future-proof surgical services at Darlington Memorial. With more theatres, we'll be able to perform more operations in better facilities, reducing waiting times and improving the patient experience."
It is part of the on-going work to develop the Darlington site for the future. Over the last three years the Trust has spent £26m on a major upgrade to the engineering infrastructure and a new energy centre, £5.5m on a new eight-bed Intensive Therapy Unit, 1m on increasing capacity within the Accident and Emergency Department, as well as £250,000 on improving car parking.
The Trust is working with contractor Willmott Dixon on the project. A phased programme of work will be used to minimise disruption to clinical services and ensure operating theatres remain open throughout the project. Work is expected to get underway in early 2014, with completion in 2016.
Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North said: "Willmott Dixon will utilise its national experience of working within a busy hospital environment to help CDDFT realise its plan for improved facilities at Darlington. The focus will be to ensure that construction work does not disrupt the hospital's day-to-day activities."
The County Durham and Darlington Trust is one of the largest integrated care providers in England, serving a population of around 600,000 people across County Durham, Darlington, North Yorkshire, the Tees Valley and South Tyneside.
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