PLANS for the biggest development of Hillingdon Hospital in 40 years have been unveiled.
A new urgent care centre is to open in Pield Heath Road, as part of improvement work that is expected to cost £12.3million.
The centre will treat people who need immediate care for minor injuries, and will be staffed by doctors, GPs and nurses.
The hospital’s existing medical assessment unit will move next to the A&E department, and expand from 30 to 45 beds.
The necessary funding has been awarded to The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust trust by the Department of Health.
The care centre will ease the burden on the hospital’s busy A&E, and has been welcomed by health campaigners.
Joan Davis, of health group Community Voice, said: “An urgent care centre is a way of taking the pressure off A&E by offering a separate facility for those with less serious injuries.
“The A&E has constantly rising attendance levels. The facilities are very specialist and should not be taken up by people with minor problems.
“Any new centre would be seen as an additional facility for the borough and would be welcomed.”
A report from the board meeting of the North West London PCTs, which includes Hillingdon, states that the centre will open after the Olympics ‘without delay’, although the whole project is not scheduled for completion until next year.
Trevor Begg, chairman of health watchdog Hillingdon LINk, said the Olympics deadline might be optimistic. But he said the proposals, although still at an early stage, are a positive thing for the borough.
Shane Degaris, interim chief executive at the trust, said: “I could not be more delighted by the news that we have won this bid from the Department of Health.
“It is the biggest development on the Hillingdon site for 40 years and will make a huge difference for local people, who have already benefited from the major improvements we have brought in to speed up the service in A&E and ensure patients are not admitted to hospital unless they need to be, and, once there, are treated quickly and returned home as soon as possible.
“By winning this capital, Hillingdon is showing the way forward. Our emergency care will be fit for the 21st century and for local residents.
“Patients – including the many children who come through emergency care – will see more consultant staff and be treated in a much better environment.”
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