£20m A&E revamp plan at hospital

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Health bosses have announced plans to build a £20m accident and emergency department to meet a surge in demand at a Durham City Hospital.

Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is pressing ahead with the A&E revamp at the University Hospital of North Durham as the facility is receiving 60,000 patients a year - double the amount it was built for in 2001.

Health chiefs want to demolish the Grade II-listed but now derelict Dryburn House, opposite the current A&E entrance, replacing it with a health hub for urgent and emergency care.

Funding for the multi-million pound project could come from a private finance initiative.

The trust has asked Durham County Council for permission to demolish Dryburn House, with a decision expected to be made in May.