HOSPITAL beds could be freed up sooner at Dorset County Hospital after £2 million of funding was secured.
The Dorchester hospital is set to create a new, larger discharge lounge facility after a successful funding bid to NHS England.
It comes after the Government announced an additional £50m in capital funding to expand hospital discharge lounges and ambulance hubs.
Discharge lounges are designated areas for patients that are waiting for their medication or transport once they are medically fit to leave hospital.
The funding will be used to install a single-storey modular building that will be pre-made using modern methods of construction and then assembled on site.
Instead of the one room that the trust currently has, the new building will provide a much larger space for patients to stay while they wait to be discharged, freeing up beds in the meantime for patients that need to be admitted.
It will be situated in the North Wing Entrance 2 Car Park, which means that some parking spaces designated for blue badge holders and chemotherapy patients will be re-allocated elsewhere on the hospital site as part of the project.
Nick Johnson, interim chief executive of Dorset County Hospital, said: “We are delighted to have secured this funding from NHS England. It is vital that we have beds available for those patients that need them most urgently.
“This grant means we can create a larger space to accommodate more patients who are medically fit to leave hospital, which in turn will free up beds on our wards.
“It will allow us to provide a safe, comfortable and relaxing environment for patients while they wait to be collected by relatives, carers or transport services.”
Work will begin shortly and be completed in the spring.