New access road improves the visitor experience at Shaftesbury’s community hospital

19th October 2021

A new one-way access and exit road at Shaftesbury’s Westminster Memorial Hospital has been officially opened by Angus Campbell, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset.  

Funded by the Friends of Westminster Memorial Hospital at a cost of £250,000, the scheme has improved access and transport flow by connecting the car parks between Abbey Lane and Magdalene Lane.

As well as providing a better experience for local people attending the hospital for appointments or visiting loved ones, the construction work has increased the number of parking spaces at the site.

Chris Lawrence, Dorset HealthCare’s Director of Estates and Facilities, said:

“We are very grateful to the Friends for funding this project. The improvements made will ensure our patients can easily find any unused spaces as they arrive, without adding to the traffic along the two adjacent lanes and the B3091 Bimport.

“The new access road has also helped resolve a ‘pinch point’ where vehicles were entering and leaving through one entrance. The improved traffic flow will benefit staff and patients, and provide a better visitor experience overall.”

Julian Prichard, Chair of the Friends of Westminster Memorial Hospital, explains:

“Anyone arriving at or leaving the patients’ car park will know of the previous difficulties encountered when meeting other vehicles and this will substantially improve the patient experience by increasing the parking area and allowing flow through the site. The access road will also allow easy access for emergency vehicles into both sides of the hospital.”

The project is the largest funded by the Friends to date. Funding came from legacies received from supporters who have benefitted from the services at the hospital.

Julian added: “I would like to thank everyone who has given so generously to the Friends. It’s only with such amazing support that this project has been possible. I would also like to say how grateful we are to Dorset HealthCare for working hard to bring this project to fruition, and all the staff at the hospital who provide such wonderful health care to our community.”

The official opening was attended by North Dorset MP Simon Hoare, Chair of Dorset Council Cllr Val Pothecary, Dorset HealthCare staff, and trustees past and present from the Friends of Westminster Memorial Hospital.

Read more Westminster Memorial Hospital.

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