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Proposals for new emergency department at University Hospital of North Durham

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust welcomed the approval by Durham Council's county planning committee on 4 January 2017 on its application for a new emergency department at University Hospital of North Durham.

As you will be aware, for some time the Trust has been working on proposals to invest in the emergency department at UHND. The proposals being driven by the pressures the current department is facing. The current department was designed with a capacity for 30,000 attendances a year but last year alone it saw more than double that with 65,000 attendances. The proposals are ambitious also including the integration of urgent care services and new ways of working.

The Trust is committed to improving the quality of care it provides and the planning application is the next stage of preparation for the scheme. The planning approval is a positive step in ensuring that when the Trust is in a position to progress everything is in place. There remains a formal process to go through. A business case is being prepared for the scheme which will subsequently require approval by the Trust Board taking into account the need for potential sources of funding

The Trust is fully engaged in discussions about the draft Sustainability and Transformation Plans for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, and North Durham and South Durham, Darlington, Tees, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby, the final outcomes of which are as yet unknown. These proposals along with plans for development of the Darlington Memorial Hospital site have been progressed as part of the organisation's clinical strategy over the past few years driven by quality and safety now and into the future.

 6 January 2017

'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough - could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'

Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community Hospital