Plans have been approved.
Members of Torbay Council’s planning committee unanimously approved a planning application for the £13m scheme to redevelop the department in the centre of the hospital off Newton Road in Torquay.
The project will add two new extensions including a three-storey main building with a ground-floor public entrance, bringing all the medical services together on a single level.
Councillors welcomed the plan from the Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust as bringing forward a major improvement for the area’s hard-pressed main hospital.
Conservative councillor Andrew Barrand said a friend told him the department appeared “like it is out of a MASH episode”.
The councillor added: “Having been in the area, I know what they mean. I am pleased this has come forward.”
Funding was announced by the Government in March 2018 after an inspection by regulator the Care Quality Commission found the unit was not big enough to meet demand.
A report said sometimes there was not enough space to provide a safe and appropriate environment for all patients.
The current department dates from the 1970s and has 18 trolley spaces, four resus (resuscitation) beds for the most seriously ill patients and a minor injuries department, seeing around 78,000 patients a year.
The new unit will bring all the medical services together in a single floor on Level 3.
The three-storey extension will have a new main entrance and cafe on the ground floor – Level 2 of the hospital – with offices and staff accommodation on a floor above the main clinical areas, and a rooftop level for machinery.
It will be brick-built on the ground floor and finished with bronze aluminium cladding on the upper levels.
The clinical level will house a major injuries section with 12 trolley bays, an isolation room and a ‘fit to sit’ area with six reclining patient chairs.
There will be a remodelled and extended resus area with six bays and a new children’s unit with six trolley bays.
A new minor injuries department will have a reception and waiting area, three assessment rooms and seven trolley bays.