Doncaster hospital to introduce new ‘cutting-edge’ surgical theatre and children’s ward

Doncaster Royal Infirmary (DRI) is set to receive a new ‘cutting edge’ surgical theatre and children’s ward, and is also undergoing ‘extensive’ repair works, according to Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Foundation Trust.

Work on the new ward and theatre block is now said to be underway, although the repair works at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital – following a ‘significant’ leak and damage to the electrical structure – are not expected to be completed for some time.

As part of a £12.4 million investment, the new wards and enabling works will be home to surgical theatres and two-storey paediatric inpatient services.

The trust says that the new buildings are ‘constructed using modern methods of construction (MMC) and cutting edge technology by ModuleCo’, in line with the construction of university student accommodation and hotels, and adds that the spaces will be ‘modern and fit for purpose’.

Work will take place across the coming months with a handover date in early December.

Dr Kirsty Edmondson Jones, Director of Estates and facilities, said: “We are thrilled that work is now underway to create this high quality ward and theatre block at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Since the water leak occurred earlier this year, we have had to make space within the hospital for some of our displaced services, such as paediatrics, which, given the activity driven by COVID-19, has made things challenging.

“With this new block we will be able to transition services back within the footprint of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, co-locating expertise once again, ensuring we have the relevant specialities and their staff all in one place.

“Unfortunately, as our estate was largely constructed in the 1930s and 1960s, it means each year we spend a large sum on our extensive maintenance backlog as well as diverting much of our time and attention to patching up and fixing issues, rather than redeveloping our sites. Hopefully, with these new additions, we will be able to move forward and progress this particular area of DRI, enhancing the experience for our patients, as well as improving the working environment for colleagues.”

There has been a renewed focus of late on updating NHS estates, including Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust’s report from earlier this year, which found that the current infrastructure did not meet its needs.