A SOUTHAMPTON hospital has appointed its original builders to create a new £22 million extension.

Southampton University NHS Trust has appointed contractors BAM Construction to deliver its new intensive care facilities.

The company is part of the worldwide Royal BAM Group, which is 150 years old this year.

It worked extensively on the original hospital buildings back in 1973 under its then name of Higgs and Hill.

The company created the East Wing, Centre Block, and South Block.

BAM’s project manager is Matt Crookes said: “How things have changed in the 45 years since we created the original buildings.

“We now have tools like virtual reality, drones, robotics, and a sophisticated computer modelling technology that allows us to work collaboratively with our clients, designers and sub-contractors.

“Safety is immeasurably better, and we control and measure our environmental impact so that we build as sustainably as possible.

“People on site have much better lives and there is a real diversity of talent in our industry.”

It is proposed that the new extension would be located on the north side of the hospital, between the main pedestrian entrance and the north wing extension.

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

On the first floor would be an expanded and refurbished 32-bed general intensive care unit, increasing current capacity by seven beds.

Plans for the second and third floors include the potential for additional operating theatres along with pre and post operation accommodation.

The GICU looks after around 1800 people every year.

The new facilities are expected to result in a small increase in patients, visitors and staff coming to the hospital.

In anticipation of this, a site-wide travel plan has been updated to further encourage walking, cycling and bus use.

There have also been recent improvements in car parking provision across the wider hospital site.

Alongside the creation of the new building, it is proposed to replace the outdoor public space that sits adjacent to the main entrance.

The design of the space would complement the design of the new extension wing and main hospital entrance, creating outdoor areas for patients, staff and visitors to enjoy.

To allow for further development work on the GICU expansion, the pay and display parking area outside the Somers building has been closed.