The future of acute healthcare



  • Hospitals in East Dorset will have specialist roles

  • Bournemouth will become a Major Emergency Hospital

  • Poole will become a Major Planned Hospital

  • Dorset County Hospital will remain largely unchanged delivering planned and emergency care

Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals

Royal Bournemouth Hospital will become a Major Emergency Hospital, with more consultants being available more of the time who specialise in urgent and emergency care.

This means consultant-led urgent and emergency care services will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will provide the most rapid access and high-quality treatment, which published evidence shows will save lives across Dorset every year. This centre will also deliver some specialist services for the whole of the Dorset population.

Poole Hospital

Poole will become a Major Planned Hospital. In the future, Poole Hospital will provide rapid treatment of elective operations without the disruption or delay that can occur from high volumes of emergency cases. It will have an Urgent Care Centre which will provide for people who are less seriously ill. Urgent care will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This will see the majority of the type of cases that are seen there already.

Dorset County Hospital

Dorset County Hospital will remain largely unchanged and will continue to provide urgent, emergency and planned care services.  Only the most specialist cases will be transferred to the Major Emergency Hospital or Major Planned Hospital.

One cancer service

It is estimated that the implementation of this national strategy could see around 30,000 additional people surviving cancer every year, which equates to 300 lives saved in Dorset per annum.

Currently services for people who have or are suspected to have cancer are provided across three acute hospitals in Dorset. These services include a variety of outpatient, surgical and diagnostic services that work independently of one another. There is variation in the way symptoms are managed, how quickly patients are able to be treated, time of reconstruction surgery (if required) and follow up, including nurse specialist review.

The future will see one cancer network for surgical and non-surgical cancer services which will work across Dorset to deliver seamless, equitable care, regardless of where people live in the county. There will be a focus on effective prevention, and early and accurate diagnosis, with patients, carers and their families at the centre of services; supported and enabled to make informed choices, receive.