Exclusive: Final plans in place for £150m Luton and Dunstable Hospital redevelopment

A £150million overhaul of the Luton & Dunstable Hospital is in the final stages of planning, the Luton News can exclusively reveal.

Plans have been drawn up to construct a new theatre and critical care block, while the emergency department will be expanded and separated from the main entrance.

A number of refurbishment works will also take place across the hospital, which will be upgraded to cope with the demands of modern procedures and increasing numbers of patients.

Designs for the significant redevelopment are currently being drawn up, with the submission of a planning application expected this summer.

It is hoped that the redevelopment will be complete within five years.

The overhaul was agreed by the hospital’s board of directors after it was decided that the cost of a new hospital site would be unfeasible.

Programme director David Hartshorne told the Luton News: “I’m not going to promise anybody a brand new hospital but I will promise them a much improved hospital.

“At the moment the figure we are looking at is £150million but I need to justify what that money will be spent on and that it delivers a return for the NHS.”

The biggest part of the project is the extension of the existing surgical block to deliver new critical care facilities, an intensive care unit and high dependency unit, new operating theatres, a new neonatal intensive care unit and new delivery suites.

Mr Hartshorne, an experienced engineer who joined the L&D last week to lead the project, said: “A brand new hospital would cost around £400m and that is difficult to justify as the net value of this site when you raze it to the ground is not very much.

The buildings have been improved but sometimes there is a limit to what you can do...what we are aiming to do is to increase the surgical capacity.

“We are looking at what surgery will look like in the next five years, not now.”

> To read the full story pick up a copy of today’s Luton News/Dunstable Gazette