The expansion of the accident and emergency department (A&E) at the Royal Sussex County Hospital has been approved by planners.
The new £30 million 70-bed short stay unit will care for surgical and medical patients who need to be admitted to hospital for 48 hours or less.
It will be housed over two floors in an extension of the existing A&E Building, above the department’s ambulance and car drop of area.
Evelyn Barker, managing director for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, said: “Patient care is our first priority and consideration in everything we do.
"Over the coming years we will be genuinely improving what patients experience when they come to A&E at the County Hospital.
"Today’s decision allows us to push ahead with the key to all the planned improvements, our new Short Stay Unit. Along with the development of an Ambulatory Care Unit within the existing A&E Building, it will give us an improved range of options for diagnosing and treating patients.
“Perhaps most importantly for patient experience, the Short Stay Unit will streamline how we admit patients and reduce the pressure on other wards in the hospital. The extra capacity will make it much easier to get patients to the right bed, in the right department, at the right time.”
Work on the new centre will begin this winter and the new facility will open towards the end of 2018.
Alongside the redevelopment of the A&E department, the Royal Sussex County Hospital site is going through a £485 million modernisation programme, set for completion in 2024.