THE NHS Trust's plans to create a temporary building at the site of St Helens Hospital for additional ward space to ease pressures have received formal permission.

A planning application w submiastted by St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust to the council last December for permission to build a two-storey modular building at the hospital site in Marshalls Cross Road.

It is proposed for the building to be situated on land currently used as a mixture of car parking and a small grassed area.

A design and access statement in the plans, drawn up by Portakabin Ltd, said: "The Trust’s A&E department is the busiest on Merseyside and activity is growing faster than other neighbouring Trusts.

"The pressure to accommodate non-elective admissions is relentless and can lead to poorly patients being inappropriately cared for on trolleys in hospital corridors, and ties-up ambulance crews that are unable to offload their patients.

"The severe need for additional bed capacity in the conurbation is already acknowledged by all stakeholders and is likely to grow".

St Helens Star: The site to be used for the remporary building Pic: Portakabin Ltd (St Helens Council Planning Portal)The site to be used for the remporary building Pic: Portakabin Ltd (St Helens Council Planning Portal)

It added: "The proposed development includes the provision of 1966m2 of floorspace which will provide two additional wards comprising of 30 beds per ward (60 beds in total).

"The application seeks planning permission for a temporary period of five years whilst plans for a more permanent solution to the need for additional bed capacity are fully explored".

In a report recommending the plans for approval, case officer Jennifer Bolton said: "The cabins would be a sufficient distance away from any residential properties so not to cause any adverse impact.

"The proposed use is within the grounds of an existing hospital and is therefore considered compatible".

The plans were granted formal permssion.