MR Fry (Letters page, Bournemouth Echo, 29 April 2019) wrote about the future of health services across Dorset and his concerns about our hospitals coping with demands after “A&E cut”.

I would like to assure Mr Fry that the changes we are planning have been developed with our partners across Dorset to ensure we do cope with the increased demands on emergency departments and indeed all our services. We are investing significantly to ensure a sustainable future that will improve patient outcomes, make the most efficient and clinically-beneficial use of our workforce and make us economically viable.

As part of the £147 million investment across our services in east Dorset, Poole Hospital will become a major planned hospital. The hospital will have a new state-of-the-art theatre complex with 15 theatres and expanded day case provision, along with a range of outpatient, cancer and diagnostic services. This means that patient waiting times will be shorter and operations will not be cancelled or postponed because of pressures on emergency services, such as during winter, which will benefit patients around our region and help them plan around their care.

Poole’s Emergency Department will become an Urgent Treatment Centre in 2023/24. Staff will treat between 50,000 and 60,000 patients every year with nearly 800 illnesses and injuries. Most patients currently going to Poole Hospital Emergency Department will continue to be treated in Poole’s new Urgent Treatment Centre.

The Emergency Department on the Royal Bournemouth Hospital site will become three times bigger than it is now, as it becomes the major emergency hospital for east Dorset. Staffed by teams from both hospitals, this new facility will offer emergency services and other specialist support for patients, including cardiology and stroke, with consultant-led care, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. National studies demonstrate that by concentrating services in this way for major conditions, patient outcomes are significantly improved. Patients will continue to go to other specialist centres such as Southampton or Salisbury as per current clinical pathways. This new build centre will be combined with brand new maternity and paediatric units.

Royal Bournemouth Hospital will have a new link road from the newly improved A338 which will help improve traffic flow and this road will also unlock the land adjacent of Wessex Fields, with plans to develop this into a science park. This will further help develop our hospitals as a focus for research and innovation and benefit our health services and population across Dorset.

We are extremely proud of health services across Dorset and our dedicated and hard-working NHS staff, and we are excited about the improvements that will be introduced over the next few years. We will be sharing the design plans for both RBH and Poole more widely over the coming months and explaining further the benefits of these changes for local people. We would be delighted to come and talk to any local community groups about these changes, to explain how this significant investment will be used to ensure that our population will continue to be well-cared for now and in the future. If you are interested, please email


Joint Chief Executive,

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust,

The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust