Scores of local residents took the opportunity to hear more about Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s plans to develop the hospital site during a drop-in event.
The trust is hoping to expand its emergency department (EC) and intensive care unit (ICU) as well as establish an integrated care hub (ICH).
The trust is also working to develop the land it owns on the site of the former Damers School and the current trust headquarters to help pay for the building work.
The site could include a mix of health- and care-related facilities, together with new housing.
The trust’s director of strategy, Nick Johnson, said: “Our emergency department now deals with twice as many patients as it was designed to cope with.
“Demand is only going to rise in the future so we need to expand and redesign the department to make it fit for purpose. Similarly, our intensive care unit needs to be expanded so we can cope with the increased demand. The ICH will bring staff and services together on site to allow us to get patients home safely in a timely way.”