PLANS for a £22 million investment to expand a Hampshire hospital have been unveiled.

New outpatients facilities are set to be created at Southampton General Hospital while the existing 25-bed general intensive care unit (GICU) is to be expanded, increasing its current capacity by seven beds.

This comes as University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has unveiled plans for

a 6886m2 four-storey building which would tie into the existing hospital floor levels.

According to the proposal, the ground floor would be the entrance to the existing MRI facilities together with a new floor area to accommodate additional outpatient facilities.

The expanded and refurbished GICU will be on the first floor, while the second and third floors potentially including operating theatres and pre and post operation accommodation, may be provided in a later phase of development.

The GICU looks after around 1800 people every year.

In an official document the trust said: "The project would allow for a reconfiguration and enhancement of the current layout but also provides an extra seven bed spaces. The development would therefore improve services provided to the community and the south coast as the region's major trauma centre. The Trust is looking forward to delivering a new facility to improve and enhance the care and experiences of patients."

The building would be situated around 100m away from the nearest residential properties on Tremona Road.

The trust also said that a site-wide travel plan has been updated to encourage walking, cycling and bus use while new outdoor meeting zones are set to be created near the main entrance.

Cllr Dave Shields, cabinet member for health and community safety at Southampton City Council, said: “These are further initiatives that keep our general hospital to the fore as one of the biggest and best facilities in the 
south of England outside London.”

MP Royston Smith also welcomed the news, saying: “Southampton General Hospital is recognised as one of the country’s finest. 
“This expansion will allow our doctors and nurses to provide even better state-of-the-art care for more people and is a very welcome addition to their excellent facilities.”

A planning application is due to be submitted to the city council this summer. If approved, construction could start in November.