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Demolition starts to create new rehabilitation unit

Solent NHS Trust’s Chief Executive, Andrew Strevens and Chief Finance Officer, Nikki Burnett
Solent NHS Trust’s Chief Executive, Andrew Strevens and Chief Finance Officer, Nikki Burnett

Demolition work has officially started to make way for the new rehabilitation unit at Western Community Hospital in Southampton.

Solent NHS Trust’s Chief Executive, Andrew Strevens and Chief Finance Officer, Nikki Burnett joined the construction team on site as the building was stripped out ready for demolition in the next few weeks.

Work to clear the ground and prepare for demolition and construction started in November, with a plan to open the finished unit in summer 2024.

The £21m project was given approval from the Department of Health and Social Care in September. The new unit will be built on the site of the old Tannersbrook Ward, while the rest of the hospital continues to operate as normal.

Andrew Strevens, Chief Executive said: “This is an exciting time for us all, to see all the years of planning and hard work come to fruition with the start of demolition work on site. The Western Community Hospital provides a range of services to local people and the new rehabilitation unit will be a focal point for delivering specialist care.

“We are creating a state-of-the-art facility that will benefit patients and staff in Southampton for many years to come.  I’m looking forward to watching the new building take shape.”

The modern, purpose-built unit will replace two existing rehabilitation wards currently at the Royal South Hants Hospital in Southampton, will increase the number of beds available from 43 to 50, and will more than double the number of single rooms with en-suite facilities.

The extra beds and improved facilities will mean Solent staff can treat more people, closer to home. It will help to reduce the amount of time people stay in hospital, freeing up much needed beds and helping to reduce the backlog of patients awaiting treatment.

Nikki Burnett, Chief Finance Officer for the Trust, said: “This is the biggest building project in Solent’s history and represents a significant investment in improving rehabilitation services. We are excited to get involved and see first-hand how the team is getting ready for the next stage of the development.”

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