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Government approval for £87 m surgical centre at Musgrove Park

The Government has given final approval for the funding of a new surgical centre at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, Somerset.

Designed by global architecture and engineering practice BDP's South West team, and being delivered by contractor, Kier, the £87 million centre will replace the hospital’s current theatres and critical care unit, which were  built during the Second World War as part of a temporary casualty evacuation hospital for the D-Day landings. Procured through the Department for Health and Social Care's P22 framework, the new surgical centre will include eight operating theatres, six endoscopy rooms with a patient recovery and clinical support area, and a critical care unit with 22 beds, specifically catering for level 2 and 3 critical care patients. It will increase capacity and ensure patients are cared for in a more modern and comfortable environment.

Enabling works are already being carried out, with phase one construction due to start in February 2021 for completion by the end of the year, ahead of the main Surgical Centre construction getting underway in 2022.  BDP and Kier are already working with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust to deliver a new acute assessment hub at the hospital as part of its ‘Musgrove 2030’ plan, which will ‘radically transform’ the hospital's estate, and include a new maternity and children's building, and further development of its cancer and emergency services.

Nick Fairham, Principal at BDP, who has been carrying out design work for the Musgrove 2030 modernisation programme since it began, said: “In line with the wider modernisation and transformation of Musgrove Park Hospital, patient, staff, and visitor experience is at the heart of the new surgical centre’s design. This includes everything from creating high dependency and recovery space immediately adjacent to the theatres, so patients remain within the care of their specialist team after their surgery, to maximising opportunity for daylight and views of the gardens. The centre will be connected to both the Concourse and Jubilee buildings by glazed links overlooking landscaped and planted courtyards.”

Dr Daniel Meron, Chief Medical Officer at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Musgrove Park Hospital, said: “We are delighted that funding for the new surgical centre has been fully approved by the government. This will be a huge boost to the people of Somerset.

"We want to support our excellent clinical and non-clinical teams to further improve the outstanding care they provide to our patients and we are very excited at the prospect of being able to care for and treat our patients in state-of-the-art operating theatres and critical care facilities.

“Work has already started on the site to clear older buildings ready for the main construction phase, and we currently estimate that the new centre will be open for patients in 2024."

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock added: “I'm delighted to give plans for the new Taunton Surgical Centre the green light. The new £87 million centre will replace the oldest operating theatres still in use in England with state-of-the-art new theatres and critical care facilities.”

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