Work has started on a £2.9 million upgrade of the Milton Keynes Hospital A&E.
Five new bays have already been completed, with a further six currently being constructed in phase two of the upgrade.
The £2.9 million investment was announced by the Government back in July when the Secretary of State for Health confirmed neither Bedford nor Milton Keynes A&E departments were t0 be closed.
The investment came following a robust campaign by both Milton Keynes MPs and the Milton Keynes Citizen launched in February 2013. The campaign calls for a new A&E to meet the growing demands of a growing city.
The current hospital A&E was built in 1984 to care for 20,000 patients a year. It’s now estimated to see up to 70,000 patients a year.
A new A&E, which was under threat following a review of A&E services in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes, will cost around £20 million and ultimately is what the city demands.
However the upgrade will relieve some of the press ure on A&E facilities in the short term and has been welcomed by both Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart who visited the hospital A&E to inspect the first phase of the upgrade.
Mark Lancaster, MP for MK North, said: “I’ve been consistent in my view that our hospital has a bright future and this investment clearly demonstrates Government’s commitment to Milton Keynes and our A&E department.
“These extra bays are only the first phase, but after lobbying hard for this money it’s great to see the physical changes implemented on the ground.”
Iain Stewart, MK South MP, said: “I was delighted when we got the news of these upgrades back in the summer however, it is even better to see the real difference that has already been made to the A&E.
“Mark, the Citizen and I have lobbied hard over past few years for this so it is great to see the first phase done and the money well spent.”
Hospital chief executive, Joe Harrison, said: “This first phase of development in A&E is a positive move and is part of our commitment to continuing to develop the hospital and its services to meet the needs of our growing local population.”