Disruption predicted as work starts on Milton Keynes hospital's new main entrance - 17 months after it was closed
Work is finally due to start this month on the hospital's new entrance '“ exactly 17 months after the old one closed.
The delay was due to a “redesign process to cope with increasing traffic,” say hospital chiefs.
The current main entrance was boarded off in June 2015, and ever since tens of thousands of patients have been diverted round the building to a temporary reception near Outpatients.
This week the hospital announced construction will start on the new entrance on November 28.
It will be built opposite the multi-storey car park at the front of the Outpatients and Speech Therapy departments.
Hospital chief executive, Professor Joe Harrison, admitted this could be confusing for visitors and said there will be “challenges” to overcome.
“However it is important to realise these challenges are only going to be in the short-term. The outcome of a new main entrance will provide many benefits for staff and patients now and in the future,” said Mr Harrison.
To compensate for the inconvenience, free car parking has been extended from 15 minutes to half an hour to allow more drop-off time.
Contractors entering and exiting the hospital site will cause problems for people trying to park.
Deputy chief executive John Blakesley said: “While the new entrance is built, this inevitably will cause some disruption. We are doing our best to mitigate these issues and will be constantly seeking ways to improve parking. It is important to remember that parking at Milton Keynes Hospital is significantly better than many other hospitals.”
MK Hospital has 200,000 outpatients through its doors every year. It also has 20,000 inpatients a year admitted to wards.
Each year 70,000 people visit the A&E department - 53,000 more patients than it was first designed for when the hospital was built in 1984.