A new urgent and emergency care facility is to be built at Arrowe Park Hospital.

The £28million development aims to transform urgent care in Wirral and will include a complete redevelopment of the current A&E at Arrowe Park Hospital, run by Wirral University Teaching Hospital and the Urgent Treatment Centre, currently based next door on the same site, run by Wirral Community Health and Care Trust (WCHC).

Work is due to start in the middle of next year with the new urgent care and A&E facility expected to open in March 2024.

Wirral University Teaching Hospital Trust said it is the biggest investment at Arrowe Park Hospital since it was built and next year marks the 40th anniversary of the hospital opening.

Tilbury Douglas has been appointed as construction and engineering contractor as well as Day Architectural Ltd to provide design expertise.

The proposal will see a "highly responsive" new urgent care and Emergency Department developed with a single-entry point; reconfiguration of the Emergency Department and Urgent Treatment Centre into one space, provide better use of space to allow social distancing and improve access for ambulances.

The centre promises "the very best clinical expertise and facilities to provide the safest and most clinically effective care for urgent and emergency patients".

It will also align with the NHS Long Term plan to provide a 24 hour collaborative urgent care service; allow rapid assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients so people with certain conditions can return home on the same day and help reduce length of stay for patients.

Janelle Holmes, chief executive at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said: "This will be a fantastic facility for staff and patients and the work will completely transform Wirral's only Emergency Department and also the provision of urgent care for local people.

"This is the biggest investment at Arrowe Park Hospital since it was built almost 40 years ago and shows our commitment to enhancing the care we provide to those who are in most urgent need.

"It is another example of strong partnerships, working with health and care organisations across Wirral which are continuing to work together for the benefit of people in the community."

Dr Nikki Stevenson, medical director and deputy chief executive added: "Our aim to continuously provide the best care we can for our patients and this new facility will help us to do that.

"We are very excited about the development, which will create a much simpler process and a better patient journey for those who visit our Emergency Department or urgent care facilities."

Karen Howell, chief executive at Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust said: "Access to urgent care for those in most need should be as easy and accessible as possible.

"The new facility will enable this to happen and ensure people get the right care at the right time and in the right place.

"We are proud to be part of this exciting development in Wirral, bringing together urgent care services around the needs of our shared communities."

Dr Paula Cowan, Chair of NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We welcome this important improvement to our local urgent care system and the investment that is being spent in Wirral.

"As a commissioner of health services in Wirral, we feel that this will provide a much improved urgent and emergency care service for Wirral residents."