Milestone reached for critical care at Musgrove Park

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

Main construction works on a new acute assessment hub due for completion in early 2022 that will include a new three-storey building for the therapies department have 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 latest hospital building programme, with potential funding of £450 m.

The next steps in its ambitious plan – ‘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 hospital.

Designed by global architecture and engineering practice BDP’s South West team, and being delivered by contractor, Kier, the acute assessment hub is described as ‘a game changer’ for the hospital. It will include an admission hub for patients requiring admission to hospital for additional care, and a unit for patients needing emergency treatment that can be delivered on the same day. 

BDP explains that the current surgical admissions unit is located in World War II ‘Nightingale’ style ward accommodation ‘unsuitable for modern standards of care’, and some distance from the surgical operating theatres. In the future, it will be included in the acute assessment hub, adjacent to the emergency department.

Adrian Hitchcock, architect director at BDP, which also designed the hospital’s Jubilee Building that opened in 2014, said: “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, said:

“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 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 facilities that are optimally configured and placed alongside one another.”

BDP's South West studio includes a specialist healthcare team responsible for the multi- award-winning Southmead Hospital and Bristol’s Nightingale Hospital at the UWE Bristol Exhibition and Conference Centre.