Worthing Hospital’s £8m block takes shape

A PLACE which is patient-friendly and perfectly equipped for staff – that is the vision of the new £8million outpatient and wards block at Worthing Hospital.

The clinical building will provide a modern outpatients’ department on the ground floor with 24 consultation rooms and three treatment rooms. Two 19-bed wards will be located on the first floor and the roofspace will have room for offices.

The new building will offer hugely improved facilities for the thousands of patients who attend outpatient appointments every year. The wards will provide much-needed additional bed capacity on the Worthing Hospital site, and, eventually, will support the relocation of all Southlands Hospital inpatient beds.

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The vacated old outpatient department on the ground floor of the East Wing will enable the hospital to create a new integrated Acute Admissions Unit.

Dr Michael Chard, consultant rheumatologist, worked alongside other medical staff to devise a plan for the building.

Dr Chard said: “We came up with a very thorough and specific idea of how this new building would work best to suit the needs of the patients and best enable the staff to do their jobs.

“I’m pleased to say it is everything I hoped it would be.”

The state-of-the-art building, which also has an excellence-rating for being environmentally friendly, has underfloor heating, an air management and circulation system to control the temperature and some single rooms with en-suites.

Infection control and safety measures, such as non-touch taps, with temperature selectors, anti-slip floors and wipe-clean surfaces are found throughout the building.

Artwork is also a main focus of the new building and its surroundings. A sculpture by Peter Randall-Page, which used to sit outside the A&E department, has been moved into the eastern courtyard.

Wooden sheep sculptures will be installed near the entrance to the existing Children’s Centre, and the hospital is currently running a photographic competition so the outpatient department and wards can be decorated with framed prints.

Dr Chard said: “Art in hospitals is an important practice, it is not done for frippery, but has a therapeutic, calming factor and it is important to make hospitals, especially brand-new buildings, feel less sterile and clinical.”

The building is expected to be officially opened by the end of January.