Extra space will mean a larger waiting area to improve the patient experience.
More modern and comfortable facilities will include a separate children’s area for safeguarding reasons.
The ambulance handover bay will be improved by creating a dedicated entrance for paramedics.
A document accompanying the planning application – approved by CWaC planning officer Gail Nickson – said A&E attendances had more than doubled since the building was designed in 1982 with 78,826 visits in 2017/18.
These changes will meet existing demand as well as making the facility ‘future-proof’.
Also included in THE vision are car park extensions partly to off-set staff spaces lost because of the extension but also to increase public parking by about 80 spaces to cope with peak demand. Traffic flow should also improve.
The Department of Health and Social Care is funding the revamp as part of a national drive to upgrade A&Es.
Chief operating officer Lorraine Burnett believes the changes will make a ‘huge difference to patients and staff’.
She said: “Our A&E was built in the 1990s to cater for 120 patients a day, but now it is not only over 20 years old, it’s also dealing with almost double that amount of patients every day.
“As a result our A&E facilities have been in need of refurbishment for some time.”
Building work will be completed in phases to limit disruption. There will be alternative ways into the department during construction. Following completion of this initial development, the hospital says work will commence to refurbish and add increased capacity.
Consultant Dr David Wilson said: “This is a great opportunity for the emergency department to improve the patient journey by creating a more spacious and comfortable environment for them to wait in.”
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