Dorset County Hospital (DCH) has received planning permission to build a multi-storey car park as part of wider plans to develop clinical facilities on its Dorchester site.
The hospital plans to expand its Emergency Department (ED) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as well as establish an Integrated Care Hub as part of a long-term project to deliver the recommendations of Dorset’s Clinical Services Review (CSR). The review stated that DCH will continue to be an emergency and planned hospital for its communities.
In order to free up space on the site for the development of clinical facilities, the hospital will build a multi-storey car park to improve parking for patients, visitors and staff. It is also working to develop the land it owns on the site of the former Damers School and the current Trust Headquarters to raise income and contribute to the cost of the clinical facilities building work. The future development of the Damers/Trust HQ land could include a mix of health and care related facilities and housing.
Residents, councillors and hospital staff were invited to hear more about the plans during engagement events held in July 2019. The views, ideas and concerns gathered fed into the planning application which was submitted to Dorset Council by specialist health and care developer Prime, which works in partnership with DCH on projects to improve its estates and facilities.
DCH’s Director of Strategy, Transformation and Partnerships Nick Johnson said: “We are delighted with the decision and very grateful to the local councillors for so carefully considering our application and recognising the importance of this development for our hospital and local people.
“We are really excited to now be able to forge ahead with our plans to build the multi-storey car park to free up space on the site for expanding essential clinical services and creating a hospital fit for the future for years to come.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to pass on a huge thank you to all the local people and our local partners who showed their support for our development plans in the run up to the committee meeting. Over 3,000 local residents signed the online Register of Support and many people took the time to write comments of support which were really heartening to receive.”
Prime’s Development Manager Guy Kippen said: “This once in a generation opportunity is the first step towards improvement. We’re delighted to work with the Trust to help achieve its strategic vision and deliver affordable, high-quality facilities that improve the patient, visitor and staff experience.
“The development of this enabling project will consolidate existing parking areas and latent demand into one location, simplifying vehicle routes and user wayfinding within the site.”
You can visit the hospital’s website to keep up to date with the latest information about the site development: www.dchft.nhs.uk/about/site-development