WORK on a £28m expansion of Liverpool’s specialist brain hospital is set to start.
The scheme at Walton neurological centre, which treats patients with brain and spine conditions, is a key part of a long-term plan to provide more services.
The expansion will enable the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust to provide shorter waiting times for its increasing number of patients.
Approval by Monitor, the body which regulates NHS Foundation Trusts, means that work can now begin on a new, three-storey building.
This will house an expanded rehabilitation unit and the centre’s internationally famous pain management programme, the first to be set up in the UK.
Patients are referred here for a range of treatments to help them cope with chronic pain.
In addition, the building will be used for relatives’ accommodation, supported by the Trust’s newly launched Home from Home fundraising appeal, which aims to raise £1m for eight en suite bedrooms for relatives who want to stay near loved ones undergoing treatment. The first stage of the expansion will see the demolition of two old buildings on the hospital site. After site clearance work, construction will get under way later this year.
The Trust has already opened a new 29-bed ward, an extra operating theatre and a new Neuroscience Research Centre, within the existing building.
A second phase of internal work can now begin, with the expansion of Jefferson Day Ward providing extra beds and facilities for overnight inpatients.
Demand for the Walton Centre’s specialist services has grown continuously since the Trust was established 20 years ago and the last few years in particular have seen pressures build on staff and facilities.
Chief executive Dr Liz Mear said: “I am delighted that Monitor have backed our scheme after close scrutiny of our business plan and strategy. We can now press ahead with a plan which enables us to provide first class services to more patients, with extra beds and new facilities.”