A new ‘centre of excellence’ for rehabilitation is set to free up NHS beds in Southampton.

Construction of the £21m wing at Western Community Hospital is nearing completion.

Set across three floors, it will provide 50-beds - creating vital space at the Royal South Hants Hospital in Brinton Terrace.

By moving the patients from the hospital to the new wing, it is hoped that recovery times will be improved as well as enhanced across both sites.

Nine years on since the wheels for the Solent NHS Trust project started turning, it is only months away from opening.

Daily Echo: Nikki Liversage, left, with Mark Maffey and Deepa Rajkumar outside the new wing at Western Community Hospital Nikki Liversage, left, with Mark Maffey and Deepa Rajkumar outside the new wing at Western Community Hospital (Image: Newsquest)

Project manager Mark Maffey said: “There are two wards at the Royal South Hants housing 43 patients, but it is a failing NHS Properties Estate.

“So, the plans for this new wing were formed in early 2015 to solve the problem.

“This building will be more economic to run and there is a raft of benefits for patients.”

All those involved have taken a ‘far and wide-reaching approach’ to the site and its facilities.

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A stand-out factor is the integral involvement of NHS staff and patients.

Deepa Rajkumar, AHP Clinical Lead and physiotherapist, was keen to ensure the new building would benefit patients beyond Western Community Hospital.

She said: “We are looking at identifying the right patients, at the right time to get the right specialist services which in turn helps the wider community.

“This will take the demand of social services.

“This project has not just been plucked out of thin air.”

She added: “It is important for everybody in the community to access the right type of treatment they require, so this is a massive piece of work.”

The building will be equipped with a modern gym full of rehabilitation equipment, along with an on-site Activity of Daily Living (ADL) flat where patients can experience living on their home before returning home.

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A courtyard in the centre of the building will also aid patients’ recovery.

Nikki Liversage, clinical matron for inpatients, said: “The outside space gives patients currently at the Royal South Hants to come outside for their rehabilitation, which is something they do not have.

“And it will be great to finally have all our teams on one site and see them under one umbrella.”

Work on the building started on October 31 2022 and is due to be completed this July.

Patients are scheduled to be moved in eight to 10 weeks after completion.