HEREFORD hospital's new day case unit, which will cut waiting lists for patients, is rising from the ground.

A short project ceremony was held at the Hereford County Hospital site this week to celebrate a major milestone in the construction of the new unit – the completion of the steel skeleton for the new building.

The scheme is now well underway on site, after the unanimous decision by local planners to support investment in key NHS services for Herefordshire residents earlier this year.

Procedures that will be offered in the new unit include a mix of day case surgeries, including gynaecology, ENT, urology, general surgical, orthopaedic, dental, oral and cataract procedures.

Providing this type of surgery in a dedicated environment will boost productivity, improve patient outcomes and reduce waiting times, as well as reduce pressures on staff by moving elective surgeries that currently take place in the main hospital to the new site, a hospital spokesperson said.

Beds in the new Daycase Surgical Unit will also be ring-fenced for planned operations, reducing the risk of short-notice cancellations.

Mehmood Akhtar, consultant urological surgeon and associate medical director (surgery) at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “This new facility has the potential to make a huge difference for our patients who will be able to be seen and treated in modern, state-of-the-art facilities.


“We appreciate the inconvenience cancelled procedures can have on patients and this new facility will go some way to help prevent the need to delay care and treatment. We’re looking forward to receiving our first patients in late Spring next year.”

Alan Dawson, the trust's chief strategy and planning officer, said: “The demolition of the last of our 1940s hutted wards has made way for this unit which will effectively be a standalone facility. It will be run in a way that means it won’t be affected by sudden pressures in our emergency department, which have curtailed routine elective procedures in the past.”

Designed by ADP Architects and project managed by Currie & Brown, the two-storey centre will house two operating theatres, assessment rooms, pre-op waiting rooms, recovery bays and a dedicated cataract suite, alongside staff offices and a main reception.

The project is being delivered on site by Midlands contractor, Speller Metcalfe.

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Mark Hudgeon, regional director at Speller Metcalfe, said: “We are currently flooded with news regarding NHS pressures, and there is no shying away from the fact that staff and patients all over the UK need additional resources to combat healthcare pressures.

"We are eager to be a part of the solution and are delighted to support Wye Valley NHS Trust to deliver both the quantity and quality of care required by a growing Herefordshire community.”

Set to complete in late spring next year, the project has been built with sustainability in mind, with the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ design incorporating energy performance targets and future flexibility for the trust, should the need arise to expand facilities in the longer term, the trust spokesperson said.