The Emergency Department of the Conquest Hospital is set to be extended and “upgraded” at the cost of £2.7m. Construction and property services company Willmott Dixon Interiors, based in Letchworth, who undertook construction work at Eastbourne District General Hospital last winter, have been awarded the contract by the Procurement Hub Major Projects Framework for delivery on behalf of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. 

CREDIT: Dave Young

The project will create new clinical as well as non-clinical space. The number of treatment spaces will be increased from 17 to 27, and there will be a separate paediatric treatment and waiting area. 

The NHS Trust has indicated that it forms part of a wider strategy to care for inpatients with Covid-19. Willmott Dixon managing director Graham Shaw commented: “This project will allow NHS staff to separate Covid-19 patients more easily.”

No time frame has been indicated for the completion of the project. Mr Shaw said that his team will be undertaking works “as quickly and as safely as possible to minimise disruption for staff and patients”. But an outside observer has to conclude that, if the stated rationale is genuine, the NHS Trust must be anticipating a continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic in East Sussex for a long period ahead. 

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