Plans are afoot to move a hospital department into the ground floor of a hotel, the Gazette can reveal.
The move– which is part of a £150m scheme to overhaul the Luton & Dunstable Hospital– would see the creation of a orthopaedic hub at Travelodge on Dunstable Road.
The space on the ground floor of the hotel was previously the home of an NHS facility called the Edwin Lobo Centre, but it would need to be extensively renovated to make it fit for purpose.
It is hoped that by moving the trust’s fracture clinic, orthopaedic clinics, some musculoskeletal services and associated imaging to the site a large amount of space will be freed up for other works on the main hospital site.
Though the plan is still awaiting a sign off from the hospital’s board of directors the hotel site is currently being leased by the L&D to assist design work for the new hub.
Melanie Chalk, deputy programme director of the hospital redevelopment, told the Gazette that the department could be in place by the end of the year.
She said: “At the moment plans for the hospital are evolving and we are delving into detail on what to do with this service.
“When we expand the emergency department we will be moving into where the fracture clinic is.
“At the moment the clinic doesn’t work too well so the idea is to take it off site and bring it all into one hub.”
On the main hospital site a new block will be built to house a delivery suite and midwifery led birthing centre, a neonatal unit offering parent accommodation, a new critical care floor, a theatre reception and a theatre floor.
The emergency department will be expanded to help it cope with increasing demand, while the main entrance will be overhauled to simplify the flow of patients through the hospital.
General improvements will also made across the rest of the L&D site.
> A consultation on the plans will be open to the public at Tesco, Skimpot Lane, between 10am-5pm on June 25 and 27, and at Dunstable Market, Ashton Square, between 10am-4pm on June 26.