Project to transform rehab facilities in Southampton receives government go-ahead
Ambitious plans to create a 50-bed rehabilitation unit for patients across Southampton have crossed the final hurdle.
Building work on the £21.8m wing at Western Community Hospital is expected to start at the end of October after Solent NHS Trust was given government approval.
The proposals had received the green light from Southampton City Council in August 2021 but had been awaiting the go-ahead from the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England.
Andrew Strevens, Chief Executive at Solent NHS Trust, said: “At Solent, we are committed to ensuring our patients have easy access to safe, effective and high-quality care.
“This development will bring together our inpatient facilities within Southampton, enabling significantly better care in fit for purpose premises.
“I am delighted that this investment in the population we serve has been achieved, and is a testament to the fantastic work of Solent and our partners in Southampton. ”
For those involved in the scheme – which will be the biggest building project in the Trust’s history – it was the announcement they had longed for.
Mark Young, Associate Director of Estates Transformation at Solent NHS Trust, said: “This is brilliant news for our patients, staff and indeed everyone living in the Southampton area.
“So many people have worked so hard behind the scenes to turn this project into reality. Now we are really excited to see the building work start and the new wing start to take shape.”
Clinical staff, patients and carers have had input into the plans, which use greenery and natural light – both of which have been shown to aid recovery.
The unit will relocate two existing rehabilitation wards currently at the Royal South Hants Hospital in Southampton – increasing beds from 43 to 50, as well as doubling the number of single rooms with en-suite facilities.
Building work is expected to take around 18 months before the new unit is ready to receive its first patients.