THE FIRST patients are due to use Torbay Hospital’s brand new acute medical unit within days.

A celebratory ceremony to mark the completion of the long-awaited, multi-million-pound project took place last week.

Split over two levels, AMU will see a wide variety of patients who require varying levels of care.

It has 36 assessment spaces and will allow patients to receive timely, high quality care and the unit is directly located alongside the emergency department.

Referrals will be taken from the emergency department as well as directly from GPs, the community and other specialties.

The aim of having the two units side by side is to improve the flow of patients across the two departments.

Torbay Hospital’s League of Friends donated more than £500,000 to the project with the funds helping to equip the AMU with new patient trolleys and recliners.

Dr Alice Miller, consultant and clinical lead acute medicine at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘The opening ceremony was a very proud and exciting moment for us as it signifies the start of better buildings for our patients and staff where we can provide not only better care, but the right care, in the right place.

‘By working together, we have been able to create these fabulous new facilities that offer a modern, patient-focused environment for all and we’re looking forward to opening the doors to the first patient arrivals in mid-December.’

Sir Richard Ibbotson, trust chairman, said: ‘Our building a brighter future programme is about us wanting to make a real difference to how we deliver services with, to, and for our people and our new AMU is a big step towards us achieving that vision.

‘The most heartfelt of thanks goes to our wonderful League of Friends for their very generous donation of over £500,000 to help equip our new AMU.

‘Every patient we treat in will have benefited in some way from their work.’

Roy Tuttle, chairman of Torbay Hospital’s League of Friends, said: ‘This new and splendid building will be a tremendous benefit to all future patients who will be seen quicker and by the right people.

‘The League is proud to have contributed more than £500,000 towards direct equipment in the AMU and a further £1.3m for new scanners for emergency and cancer patients.’

Work began to prepare the site back in late 2020 and building work started in March 2021.

During the build, more than 1,000 people have worked on the site over the last two years with 243 tonnes of steel used to form the frame of the building.