STRUCTURE: NHS Somerset has approved the full business case for a £33m community hospital rebuild.

The current Bridgwater Community Hospital was built in 1813 and has been deemed unsuitable for modern healthcare provision.

The proposed replacement will be built on a separate site and will include inpatient facilities, outpatient clinics, a minor injury unit, rehabilitation and outpatient therapies, diagnostic facilities, day treatment facilities and a midwife led birthing unit.

The primary care trust has estimated the new hospital could release up to £11.7m of savings by moving some care out of nearby secondary hospitals and follow up outpatient appointments which may be unnecessary.

In 2011-12 more than 117,000 patients travelled to either Weston Area Health Trust or Taunton and Somerset Foundation Trust.

NHS Somerset hopes at least a quarter of those will be treated at Bridgewater Community Hospital when it opens in 2014 leading to an increase in inpatient activity of 90 per cent and outpatient activity of 120 per cent.

A report to July’s board said it had been agreed that “responsibility for completion of the project will transfer to Somerset Partnership Foundation Trust in April 2013 when NHS Somerset is dissolved”.