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Solent project to transform rehabilitation facilities in Southampton receives government go-ahead

Patients across Southampton will benefit from ambitious plans to create a state-of-the-art 50-bed rehabilitation unit at the Western Community Hospital (WCH).

Building work on the wing at WCH, which will cost around £21 million, is expected to start in in the coming weeks after Solent NHS Trust was given government approval.

The proposals had received the green light from Southampton City Council in August 2021, with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England approving funding in September 2022.

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.”

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, that use greenery and natural light 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.

Minister for Health Lord Markham said: “We are committed to improving health infrastructure for patients and staff and will deliver a massive programme of hospital upgrades and new hospitals by 2030.  

“This new rehabilitation unit, backed by over £15 million in government funding, will increase the number of beds and single rooms with en-suite facilities, improving the quality of care for patients in Southampton.” 

Building work is expected to take around 18 months before the new unit is ready to receive its first patients.

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