We have three major hospitals in Dorset – Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Poole Hospital and Dorset County Hospital.

At the moment, facilities are stretched and we struggle to meet growing pressures and demand on care.

Our major hospitals currently provide a lot of the same services, but evidence shows that more lives are saved when people are treated in specialist centres with distinct roles. With this in mind, we’ve proposed that Bournemouth and Poole hospitals should have different roles.

Poole Hospital would provide major planned care. This means that it would focus on low risk, planned and day
surgeries, such as hip and knee surgery, and treatments where a GP referral has been made.

It would also have a 24/7 Urgent Care Centre instead of an A&E. This would treat lower risk injuries, such as a suspected broken arm, or minor head injuries.

“The majority of people who would currently go to Poole’s A&E would still be treated there, but with fewer disruptions from urgent emergency cases. This means that planned appointments and operations would also be less disrupted.”

Royal Bournemouth Hospital would be a major emergency hospital with an A&E.  Local people needing emergency care for life threatening and very serious injuries would benefit from 24/7 specialist consultant-led care.

It would also include services such as a 24/7 high risk maternity unit, and higher risk complex care including cancer.

Dorset County Hospital would remain a district general hospital serving the west of the county and would be largely the same as it is now. However it would form part of a Dorsetwide set of networked clinical services with hospitals in Bournemouth and Poole. The most seriously ill or injured patients needing specialist care would be transferred to the major emergency hospital in the east of the county. This is similar to what would happen now, with the most seriously injured patients going to Southampton or other specialist hospitals.