A hospital’s neighbours are being invited to a meeting to learn about the huge changes taking place on the site.
The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Eastern Road, Brighton, is holding its next Hospital Liaison Group meeting a week on Monday (6 December).
The regular meetings give people living within a quarter of a mile of the hospital a chance to stay up-to-date with the building modernisation programme.
The next meeting is in the Audrey Emerton Building, opposite the main hospital site, and is expected to run from 7pm to 9pm, with refreshments from 6.45pm.
The hospital’s neighbours will be told more about the plans to replace the 19th century Barry building – which dates from 1828 – with a building more suited to the 21st century.
The old building was completed 20 years before Florence Nightingale started nursing and is one of the oldest NHS buildings still being used to provide acute inpatient care.
Hospital bosses said: “With almost 200 beds, it is cramped, has very few single rooms and far too few toilets.
“Replacing it to modern standards would need a building over four times larger.
“Under the new plans nearly 70 per cent of patients will have a single room, each with an en-suite toilet and shower.
“Other beds will be in four-bed bays, also with en-suite facilities.”
Closer to home
The plans also include creating room to treat neurosurgery, neurology, major trauma and cancer patients on the site.
Some are currently treated in Haywards Heath – in a building dating from 1938 – and others have to travel outside the region.
Hospital bosses want to provide more care closer to home.
They said that nearly 40 per cent of Sussex residents needing neurological treatment – for head injuries, for example – and who could be treated at Haywards Heath have to travel outside the region.
The new buildings in Brighton will have twice as many neurosciences beds.
Neighbours will also be told that the Royal Sussex is becoming the major trauma centre for the region.
Major trauma is the leading cause of death in the under 40s and includes victims of car crashes, fights, falls, and knife and gunshot wounds.
A large proportion of victims are 16 to 20-year-olds.
Hospital bosses said: “If the sickest patients are brought to a major trauma centre, 15 to 20 per cent more survive and fewer patients have disabilities requiring long-term care.”
Plans include a helipad so patients who need urgent transfer or are isolated can be brought in by air ambulance rather than being flown to London.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust – which runs the Royal Sussex and the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath hopes to complete these ambitious changes within five years.
The trust also plans to rebuild and expand the Sussex Cancer Centre by the end of the decade so that all patients can be treated in Brighton except those with the rarest cancers.
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