A DORSET hospital has been given £2 million to create a new waiting area for patients waiting to be discharged.

Dorset County Hospital (DCH), in Williams Avenue, Dorchester, claims that the money will help to free up hospital beds though the larger facility.

DCH submitted a bid to NHS England after the Government announced an additional £50million in funding to expand hospital discharge lounges and ambulance hubs.

Discharge lounges are designated areas for patients that are waiting for their medication or transport once they are medically fit to leave hospital.

The funding will be used to install a single-storey modular building that will be pre-made using modern methods of construction and then assembled on site.

Instead of the one room that the Trust currently has, the new building will provide a larger space for patients to stay while they wait to be discharged. 

It will be situated in the North Wing entrance 2 car park, which means that some parking spaces designated for blue badge holders and chemotherapy patients will be re-allocated elsewhere on the hospital site as part of the project.

Work will begin shortly and be completed in the spring, the hospital said. 

Nick Johnson, interim chief executive of DCH, said: "We are delighted to have secured this funding from NHS England.

"This grant means we can create a larger space to accommodate more patients who are medically fit to leave hospital, which in turn will free up beds on our wards.

"It will allow us to provide a safe, comfortable and relaxing environment for patients."