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2 April 2019, 18:14 | Updated: 2 April 2019, 18:21
A year-long project in Oxford to expand the John Radcliffe hospital's A&E department is officially underway.
The project is costing £13.8 million pounds, and should be completed by Spring 2020.
The new area will allow a better use of space, more diagnostic equipment, and improved privacy for patients as well as better turnaround times for ambulances.
It will include an extra eight bays for the immediate care of seriously ill patients, a paediatric resuscitation room and an isolation room with an adjacent CT scanner and control room as well as a nurses' bay and improved bereavement and relatives' rooms.
Dr Larry Fitton, Clinical Lead for the Emergency Department said: "Due to the growing population in our area, an expansion of our Emergency Department is vital to ease the pressure on our services caused by increased numbers of patients and to ensure that high-quality care is delivered to them.
"It is a significant building project with many complex elements, but on its completion, it should benefit the whole community.
"I am also very pleased that the new facility will provide improved bereavement and relatives' rooms which will be better placed to give families more privacy at an incredibly difficult time. A dedicated CT scanner will enable us to get the diagnosis of critically ill patients far more quickly."
As a part of the expansion project, six ambulances spaces will be created and a more efficient drop off point will be set up at the entrance of the new building.
Ross Cornett, Head of Operations (Acting) for Oxfordshire at South Central Ambulance Service, said: "We welcome and fully support the expansion project at the John Radcliffe Emergency Department and thank colleagues at the hospital for involving us in this exciting development.
"The new facilities will speed up the safe handover of our patients to colleagues in the Emergency Department, allowing ambulances to return to active duty considerably quicker so that we can respond to the next patient sooner."