Construction has started on a new £10m maternity unit for Wexham Park Hospital.
A ceremonial ground-breaking for the project was held on Friday, ahead of building work formally starting on Monday.
In total, the scheme is expected to take about 50 weeks to finish, putting the estimated completion date at some point in early October next year, with a phased opening of different areas taking place over the course of the year.
According to officials from Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital in Slough, the first of three project phases, comprising the main entrance to maternity, the antenatal clinic and gynaecology services, is expected to take about 22 weeks to complete.
Speaking at Friday’s ground-breaking, Sir Andrew Morris, the hospital’s chief executive, claimed that as well as improving patient care by improving the overall facilities on offer, it would also help retain senior and experienced staff.
“It’s a big day for maternity services at Wexham Park,” he said.
“We’ve got a £10m investment going on that will give us labour suites with en-suite facilities, so that when you go into labour, it’s like being in a hotel.
“The birth rate in this area is likely going to go up, and we think there’s going to be about another 1,000 deliveries here per year, up to about 5,000.
“The staff will have some fantastic facilities to work in and it’s also going to help recruitment and retention.”
He also spoke about plans for a new paediatrics high dependency unit to go alongside the maternity unit, and a £50m Accident and Emergency Department, construction on which is expected to start in the spring, subject to planning approval.
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