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Patients & visitors


What's happening?

A new main entrance for the hospital is being built. The project will include a new, modern reception area with a range of facilities, including a suite of public rest rooms – including a Changing Places enhanced disabled toilet – three retail outlets and a new PALS office.

It will be called the Main Entrance while the existing main entrance will be known as the North Entrance.

Why is it being built?

The project is expected to make a huge positive difference to the experience of the trust’s patients, visitors and staff as well as providing a modern and welcoming front of the hospital.

When is it taking place?

The construction work will begin on 14 November and is planned to finish in March 2019 when the new entrance will open.

What will it be called?

It will be called the Main Entrance while the existing main entrance will be known as North Entrance.

What will change?

A new link between the main hospital and the Philip Arnold Unit will be built. The two areas are currently connected by a small walkway and this proposal will provide patients with more privacy, dignity and respect as they transfer across the site, as well as making navigation for visitors easier.

How much is this costing the hospital?

Nothing. The costings will be met entirely by commercial partners.

Will the construction affect appointments and wayfinding?

There may be some disruption to existing pedestrian and vehicle access. Signage will be up to show any changes and onsite volunteers will assist with wayfinding. Additional wheelchairs will also be made available.

There will be a number of changes to wayfinding for staff, patients and visitors after the Main Entrance opens in the spring.

The new construction will replace entrances 7 and 8 and the current main entrance, entrance 10, will be renamed as North Entrance.

It is expected that the North Entrance will have less footfall after the new opening as all outpatients will be directed through the new Main Entrance.

Wayfinding will work with coloured zones rather than the current block system. The changes will be as follows:

A Block – Orange Zone

B Block – Blue Zone

A/B Block – Purple Zone

C/E Block – Pink Zone

J Block (PAU) – Yellow Zone

D Block (Eddie Hawker) – Green Zone

The changes are being made to simplify signage, which will allow hospital users to navigate the site more effectively. This approach was designed in consultation with a working group.

Can staff or patients still be dropped-off and picked-up in the horseshoe car park during the construction works?

No, the horseshoe car park will be completely closed so there will be no access for parking or for drop-offs/pick-ups. Please arrange alternative off-site drop off and pick-up points.

The ramps will remain open for emergency and non-emergency ambulances and it will still be possible for drop-offs (including taxis) outside the emergency department and the current main entrance. Taxis will be treated the same as any other private vehicle in that they may use the ramp but wait times are extremely restricted in order to reduce congestion and to maintain traffic flow.

Please do not to drop-off or pick-up from the pavement outside the horseshoe entrance as this will cause congestion on Longfleet Road. Instead, please arrange alternative off-site drop off and pick-up points or use the area outside the main entrance.

I usually leave my bicycle and park my motorcycle on the horseshoe. Where can I park now?

Alternative motorcycle parking can be found on level A of the multi-storey car park immediately after the Longfleet Road entrance barrier with additional cycle racks outside acute medical unit (AMU) and by the entrance to the diabetes centre.

In the multi-storey there is a dedicated space on Level A for motorcycle parking. Simply take the ticket and report to the car parks office prior to departure for free exit. For more information, or if you have any queries, contact car parks at

If I have a disability, where can I be dropped-off or picked-up?

Disabled blue badge holders will be able to access the site for drop-offs, pick-ups and parking from outside D block and can also park in the multi-storey car park.

How will I be able to travel between the main hospital and the Philip Arnold Unit during the construction period?

A temporary walkway between Philip Arnold Unit and the main hospital through Durlston garden will be open.

This walkway is to be used primarily for logistics and patient transfers. This will be a very busy environment so patient, visitor and staff use of the walkway needs to be kept to a minimum.

The use of lifts in blocks C and E also needs to be minimised to decrease the likelihood of long waits at stairwells.

How will I know which way to go and what's changed?

Signs have been put up across the trust to direct staff, patients and visitors in the correct way of travel. Old, and now incorrect, signs have been replaced but please contact if anything's been missed. Coloured footsteps have also been laid down in key areas where wayfinding has been altered.

The footsteps are different colours for each direction of travel and volunteers will also be on hand to assist you when moving between areas affected by the construction.

What about out of hours access?

The closure of the horseshoe entrance on 14 November has resulted in changes to how visitors can access the site out of hours.

After 9pm visitors are required to use the intercom at entrance 10 (north entrance) (opposite the pelican crossing on Longfleet Road) to gain access. They will then be notified and directed to the ward or department they are visiting including the route back again when they are leaving.

It is a responsibility for all staff to support visitors and patients with directions for security and safety concerns.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.


Apologies for any inconvenience that may be caused.

For all the latest updates, check the latest news section of the website and the hospital's Facebook and Twitter pages. 

If you have any additional questions, send them to

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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