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Groundbreaking ceremony marks the start of new Outpatient Department construction works at West Cornwall Hospital

The first turf has been cut by Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust’s Chief Executive Steve Williamson, as a £9 million project to build a new Outpatient Department at West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance gets underway.

The groundbreaking ceremony on 21 February 2024, marked the start of a 14-month construction programme that will see a modern, fit-for-purpose outpatient unit complete in March 2025 and open to patients in April 2025.

The investment reflects the key role West Cornwall Hospital plays in the provision of acute hospital care in Cornwall and the Royal Cornwall Hospitals’ commitment to delivering more care close to home.

The new building will provide modern and technically-advanced facilities in which staff will be able to provide face-to-face and virtual care in an accessible and patient-focused environment.

It will also be the first major project on an RCHT site to have solar panels incorporated into the design to generate sustainable energy to support the unit.

Steve Williamson, Chief Executive Officer at RCHT said: “This groundbreaking ceremony marks the culmination of several years’ partnership working across the NHS, with our stakeholders and the local community, including the support of the West Cornwall Hospital League of Friends. The new building will give our teams an environment which will match the outstanding care they provide."

Kate Shields, Chief Executive Officer at NHS Cornwall, and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board said: “The new outpatient department at West Cornwall Hospital is a great example of our aim to provide more health and care services to all patients as close to their homes as possible. The investment underlines a vibrant future for the Hospital and our commitment to developing the services we provide to meet the needs of our communities in the West of Cornwall.”

Chris Couch , Area Manager, Kier said: “We’re delighted, once again, to be working with RCHT on this major capital project at West Cornwall Hospital, so soon after the completion of The Mermaid Centre and the Tremenel Unit at Truro’s Royal Cornwall Hospital. We are passionate about healthcare, and about partnership working, and we will work closely with RCHT and local residents to deliver an outstanding new Outpatient Department.”

Throughout the construction process, all considerations have been made to reduce disruption, and keep patients and visitors safe.

Unfortunately, this does mean that parking at West Cornwall Hospital will be restricted throughout the works. Patients, visitors and staff are requested, wherever possible, to park at the St Erbyn’s or Causeway Head car parks close by.

Some temporary accessible parking has been provided on site, and two patient drop-off bays have also been created.

Regular community updates will be provided to keep residents and visitors informed about the project's progress.

Construction works are due to be completed in March 2025, ahead of welcoming the first patients to the Outpatient Department in April 2025.

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