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Project: Emergency Department Expansion

This page was last updated: November 19th, 2021

An extension and refurbishment of the Resuscitation Unit and Rapid Assessment and Treatment Unit (RATs).
A new, spacious and modern Resuscitation Unit opened to patients in November 2020 providing the Emergency Department (ED) team with high-quality, hi-tech facilities in which to care for patients with the most acute and life-threatening conditions.

With four bays and two isolation cubicles, the brand new single-storey unit is a significant improvement on the smaller original unit built in the early 1990s. The extra physical accommodation provides space for clinical staff to work quickly and effectively in busy times, particularly during winters, summer holiday surges and, in recent times, local surges in coronavirus cases.

In early May 2021, the next phase of the Emergency Department expansion work was completed on time and on budget, and the Rapid Assessment and Treatment area (RATs) was officially opened.

Emergency Department Rapid Assessment Treatment Unit corridor

Emergency Department Rapid Assessment Treatment Unit bay

The RATs area is where patients first arrive when brought in by ambulance. They are met by experienced nursing staff who conduct rapid investigations prior to the patient being reviewed by the doctor.

The RATs area has 4 treatment bays, and is a purpose-built, dedicated facility where staff can operate swiftly safely to deliver a much better patient experience.


Click here to see a 360 degree interactive walkthrough of the project


Disruption during the construction work for this project was confined to the closure of the small car park adjacent to the ED to provide a site compound for the construction workers and space to extend the building. Six accessible parking bays in the small car park have been reinstated since the completion of the project.

The Link Corridor (South) Ambulance pick-up and drop-off area was unaffected during the construction period, and diversions for pedestrians and patient emergency drop off by car, were well signposted. Some parking bays adjacent to the ED remain closed to the public at present whilst work continues to construct the Tremenel Unit. This is where the site compound is located to support the construction workers during the building phase.


The removal of a small tree and some bushes from the construction site was completed under the supervision of an ecological expert, who also provided advice on the protection of birds, animals, and plant life.

A site-wide grounds, gardens and tree management scheme is under development as part of RCHT’s ecology and bio-diversity programme. This programme will include removing old and dangerous trees; some gardens being re-located; some trees being replanted, and one or two new gardens being created on our sites.

Where it is not possible to replant or re-locate trees, donations will be made to the NHS Forest initiative which supports the planting of new trees. Various green areas around the hospital sites are being considered for re-wilding and for the creation of small staff and visitor rest areas.

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