£30 million A&E expansion given go ahead

Royal Sussex County Hospital to get new 70 bed short stay unit

The planned expansion of the Accident and Emergency Department at the Royal Sussex County Hospital has been approved by Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee.

The new 70 bed Short Stay Unit will care for both surgical and medical patients who need to be admitted to hospital for 48 hours or less.

The new unit is the largest part of a £30 million programme to improve Accident and Emergency at the County Hospital. It will be housed over two floors in an extension of the existing A&E Building, above the department’s ambulance and car drop off area. The building will stand on columns to allow access for vehicles and pedestrians to the front door of A&E.

Evelyn Barker, Managing Director for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, said:

“Patient care is our first priority and consideration in everything we do. Over the coming years we will be genuinely improving what patients experience when they come to A&E at the County Hospital. Today’s decision allows us to push ahead with the key to all the planned improvements, our new Short Stay Unit. Along with the development of an Ambulatory Care Unit within the existing A&E Building, it will give us an improved range of options for diagnosing and treating patients.

“Perhaps most importantly for patient experience, the Short Stay Unit will streamline how we admit patients and reduce the pressure on other wards in the hospital. The extra capacity will make it much easier to get patients to the right bed, in the right department, at the right time.”

Work on the new centre will begin this winter and the new facility will open towards the end of 2018.

Alongside the redevelopment of the A&E department, the Royal Sussex County Hospital site is going through a £485 million modernisation programme, due for completion in 2024.