UK-based contractor Willmott Dixon has commenced construction work on Dorset County Hospital’s (DCH) multi-storey car park this month.
The car park project will deliver 654 parking bays across seven floors. These include nearly 68 electric vehicle (EV) charge points.
It is designed to provide ‘vital parking space’ for patients and visitors, as well as staff.
Health and care property developer Prime has contracted Willmott Dixon to build the new multi-storey car park.
Dorset County Hospital’s deputy chief executive Nick Johnson said: “Our existing Emergency Department and ICU were not built to accommodate the volume of patients we are seeing now. Our clinical teams have responded magnificently to the additional challenges coronavirus has brought, but it is now clearer than ever that we must create additional space and facilities to ensure the safety of our patients.
“The development of these facilities is vital to make sure we are able to continue to meet the ever-increasing demand on our services and secure the future of Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester for a generation to come.”
According to Willmott Dixon, the car park building is the first phase of a project on DCH’s site to free up land for expanding the emergency department and intensive care unit (ICU).
Prime development manager Guy Kippen said: “In getting the project to this stage, we have seen and experienced first-hand the existing issues and problems faced every day by hospital patients, visitors and staff in accessing and parking at the hospital. Whilst this project is a first for Prime in many aspects, it is significant as it unlocks many opportunities for the Trust through our partnership and its masterplan.
“This project will consolidate existing parking areas and latent demand into one location, simplifying vehicle routes and improving parking and wayfinding within the hospital site.”
Under the first phase, an Integrated Care Hub will also be created as part of a long-term project to deliver the recommendations of DCH’s ‘Clinical Services Review’.
Willmott Dixon’s Central South region managing director Richard Poulter said: “If coronavirus has taught us anything, it is the importance of our NHS and the infrastructure within which it can operate. The new car park will support the hospital in providing its critical service to the local community.”
Last November, Willmott Dixon completed the initial phase of construction for the School of Engineering development at the University of Birmingham with Covid-19 safe working practices in place.