Refit begins at fire-hit hospital

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BUILDERS have started work on a £1.6 million project to refit Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s main entrance, which was destroyed by fire four months ago.

The blaze wrecked most of the hospital’s entrance facilities – including the convenience store, reception desk and café.

Workers have already demolished the fire-hit wreckage and put together a fresh design to give the entrance a new look.

Hospital chief executive Eric Morton said: “It’s hard to believe that since the end of June - and from such devastation - we are now at this stage. For our patients and staff it’s a positive step towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

“People have been extremely understanding - and while we appreciate that over the coming months there will undoubtedly be more noise and some disruption, it’s great to know that we are on the way to creating an even better front entrance facility – with a new format and new look.”

The redesign has been based on the comments of patients, visitors and staff since the old entrance opened in November 2008.

This time around, the reception desk will be smaller, there will be an electronic queuing system, a better service for patients with disabilities and more privacy for those booking in electronically.

Crucially, the entrance will also have another firewall with two sets of entrance doors - and solid fire shutters to close off the shop.

The main entrance scheme is expected to be completed by late Spring 2012.