England

East Surrey Hospital temporary ward 'to ease capacity'

A temporary 40-bed ward could be put up East Surrey Hospital to ease pressures at the site, which is facing problems with capacity.

Chief Executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust, Michael Wilson, said NHS chiefs were trying to tackle the problem with demand this year.

Plans for the two-storey general ward have been submitted to Reigate council.

In a separate scheme, work to expand the A&E department got under way at the hospital on Monday.

'Front-of-house'

Mr Wilson said: "It's now relatively well accepted by our primary care trusts and commissioners and the strategic health authority that we do have a problem with demand and capacity which we're trying to sort out this year.

"We think the 40 beds will actually help provide a much better service for patients while we start to think about how we can reconfigure services across the hospital landscape."

The NHS chief said the temporary buildings, known as modular wards, were specifically designed for hospitals where trusts where considering redesigning services.

But he said the hospital also needed to sort out its "front-of-house" services which included A&E.

He said current expansion work would increase A&E floor space by about 25% and double the amount of patients cubicles from 16 to 32.

He added: "The increase in size of the A&E department and the increase in beds in the hospital will improve patient flow and ultimately improve the experience that those patients get who we receive in the hospital."

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