A new emergency care unit for Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead is now a top priority, according to local NHS managers.
Plans includes the redevelopment of accident and emergency, a medical-assessment unit, paediatric care facilities and a new main entrance.
Ian Renwick, chief executive of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said: ‘We are very carefully looking at the whole of the patient experience, from when patients arrive at hospital requiring emergency treatment to how we can provide the best care to suit their needs throughout their time in hospital.
‘This gives us an opportunity to examine how we currently do things, and how they can be improved. A proposed site for the new building has been identified at the front of the current main entrance to the hospital.’
He said that there are, as yet, no plans detailing what the building will look like, because the trust is still gathering the views of staff and the local community about what the development should include.