QA is set to be given almost £60m by the government to replace its outdated casualty department.
The cash windfall, which was announced this morning, will see a new A&E built on the Cosham site. The current A&E has struggled to cope in recent years and has regularly seen long queues as patients wait for treatment and to be unloaded from ambulances.
The hospital has been drawing up plans for a new A&E for several years, and enlisted the support of local MPs to lobby for the cash. It was recognised by the Care Quality Commission earlier this year that the current building, which dates from 1979, had outlived its use.
It is hoped that the new A&E will be up and running by February 2021.
In all the cash – which in total is £58,282,000, will pay not just a for a redeveloped A&E, but also an acute mental health unit, and more diagnostic equipment among other things.
The chief executive of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust Mark Cubbon said: ‘I am delighted with today’s announcement. This is great news for all of our patients and our local community. The redevelopment of our urgent care facilities will enable us to transform the way we deliver urgent care services at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
‘We are grateful for this investment, which will enable us to provide a higher quality environment to improve the experience of our patients and that of our staff across many of our departments. We should not underestimate the huge opportunity this presents.
‘Thank you to everyone who has supported us, including our local MPs, who have recognised the value this investment will bring to our local community.’
The average daily attendance at A&E in 2010 was 240 patients a day. By 2017 this had risen to 299 a day and now often sits at 324 patients a day. On busy days the department sees up to almost 400 patients. The hospital says this increase has mainly been in the areas of major illness and paediatrics, although all parts of unscheduled care have seen a rise.
This cash is part of an announcement of almost £1bn given to various parts of the NHS today.