By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter
A South London hospital is building a new £21million centre for patients to help it cut waiting lists.
Staff at King’s College Hospital (KCH) will look after day patients at the state-of-the-art building in Lambeth.
The new outpatients hub will assist the hospital in dealing with additional pressure caused by Covid-19 patients that has left it missing targets.
It will allow the hospital – one of London’s four major trauma centres – to free up space in its existing buildings for longer term patients.
A total of 48 new consulting rooms, eight treatment rooms and offices will be included in the centre.
Planning documents read: “As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the unprecedented pressures that these additional care requirements have placed upon primary medical services including those at KCH, there is an urgent need to provide new facilities at the site in the shortest possible timeframe.
“This proposal is to deliver a building that can consolidate a number of existing outpatient services at the hospital to free up space in existing clinical locations to allow the expansion of existing acute care and ward facilities.
“As a result of the pandemic, KCH has been underperforming against a range of metrics and offering a sub-optimal service to patients.
“The objective is to address these issues in a holistic way instead of using short term, expensive options as may have previously been the case.”
Patients with brain, skin and bladder problems will be nursed at the new building, which is expected to be open to the public in late spring.
They are currently treated in the hospital’s Golden Jubilee wing.
The anaesthetics, therapies and outpatient surgeries departments will also be moved into the new treatment hub.
Building work on the centre began in autumn 2021.
The building is being constructed in modular units 210 miles away in East Yorkshire.
The buildings will then transported to the South London hospital’s Denmark Hill site and assembled.
Modular construction is quicker than building from scratch on site. It is also quieter and keeps disruption to a minimum.
The new building will be made up of 133 steel-framed modules, each weighing up to 11.5 tonnes. Once complete it will span 3,450 sq metres.
Dr Caroline Elston, site medical director at King’s College Hospital, said: “We are really excited about this new facility.
“This outpatient facility will allow us to provide really fantastic services for our patients across a range of outpatient specialities.
“The unit has been co-designed with input from both our clinical teams and also from our service users and will allow us to provide services which are much more efficient and will increase the capacity we are able to offer and will allow us to work in more modern and innovative ways.”