The accident and emergency (A+E) department at Royal Berkshire Hospital will be transformed to make more space for those waiting to see a doctor.

While a private hospital in Reading, which also treats NHS patients, will build four portacabins for Covid-19 testing.

Both plans were approved by Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) planning department last week.

A+E transformation at Royal Berks

Plans to revamp RBH’s A+E department were approved by the council last Thursday (August 20).

The Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust wants to create two waiting areas to clearly segregate adults and children.

It therefore needs to create a bigger lobby to allow entrances to both waiting areas.

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This will also help the hospital to increase capacity, add extra treatment rooms and bays, improve flow, and reduce clutter, according to the trust.

Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has predicted there will be a 10 per cent increase in patients visiting the department this winter.

The A+E department is located in the centre block of the hospital, with access from Craven Road.

As the department is always in operation, invasive construction work would be kept to a minimum.

There will be no changes to existing access routes and no alterations to the car parking arrangements.

The current size of the lobby is 18.9m2, while the new entrance space will be 39.3 m2.

Covid-19 testing portacabins

Temporary coronavirus testing stations will be built at Spire Dunedin Hospital.

Four temporary portacabins will be built on top of car parking space at the hospital on Bath Road.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has granted temporarily planning approval to install the buildings for one year, after which they will be removed.

The portacabins will provide Covid-19 testing for the hospital’s patients, and will mean patients do not have to enter the main hospital building, limiting the infection rate.

Spire Dunedin Hospital anticipates lower use of the hospital during the pandemic and so does not believe reducing the amount of car parking space will be an issue.

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The buildings willl be provided by Portakabin and pre-built in York.

Portakabin has been chosen for its flexibility as it can be installed quickly, enabling the hospital to begin using it much more quickly than a traditional build, and can easily be removed from the site.

Spire Dunedin Hospital, part of the Spire Healthcare network, has been serving the Reading community for over 100 years as a first-class medical facility.

Based in the heart of Reading, on Bath Road, Spire Dunedin Hospital treats NHS, insured, and self-funding patients.

Spire Healthcare plc is the second largest provider of private healthcare in the United Kingdom.