UNIVERSITY Hospitals Dorset is investing millions of pounds to improve its clinical services.

The NHS Foundation Trust has launched a program to upgrade and repair Dorset's healthcare facilities.

It comes as latest figures reveal £70.2 million is needed to repair buildings at UHD Foundation Trust.

Richard Renaut, chief strategy and transformation officer at University Hospital Dorset NHS Trust, said: "We have launched a new capital programme where we are investing £500 million to upgrade our facilities."

The trust has embarked on several building projects across Bournemouth and Poole.

The Royal Bournemouth Hospital is currently building a maternity unit at the forefront of the hospital.

Work is underway to create the new BEACH Building (Births, Emergency, Critical Care, Children's Health) on the Royal Bournemouth Hospital site.

Bournemouth Echo: New BEACH building at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital New BEACH building at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital (Image: NHS Trust)

The new facilities, described as a 'once in a generation opportunity', will include a new purpose-built maternity unit, purpose-built children's unit, enhanced emergency department and critical care unit, with capacity for up to 30 beds.

Mr Renaut said: "We are working hard to address the backlog; the new maternity building at Bournemouth will remove a big chunk of it."

A significant portion of the total accumulation is linked to the old-day surgery facility at Poole Hospital.

University Hospitals Dorset has allocated substantial funds to construct new theatres at Poole Hospital.

The development includes a state-of-the-art theatre complex, inpatient and day case surgery, and a wide range of outpatient and diagnostic services.

Richard said the new theatres, which opened in May, meant the trust could close Poole's outdated day surgery unit.

He said: "The unit was old and represented approximately £15 million of the accumulated backlog.

"In addition to that, we've got a lot of refurbishments planned over the next couple of years to revamp the wards and equipment.

"Poole Hospital will become the biggest planned care hospital in the country."

The hospital has had planning permission approved to construct a new and expanded endoscopy unit.

This new unit will replace the existing one and will be twice the size of the previous facility.

Richard added: "Healthcare is very expensive; the equipment and the buildings are very expensive, but we are working very hard to get the funding into Dorset.”