New £2.5 million Emergency and Critical Care appeal launched

Dorset County Hospital Charity will be officially launching a new £2.5 million Emergency and Critical Care Appeal at the 2023 Dorset County Show this weekend.

The appeal is funding major enhancements to the new Emergency Department and Critical Care Unit which will soon start to be built at the hospital. The Appeal will fund extra facilities for the new Critical Care Unit such as relatives’ overnight rooms and rest accommodation and welfare facilities for clinical staff. Additional facilities will also be funded for the new Emergency Department. The Appeal will also fund artistic elements in both new units to help create a sympathetic and healing environment.

Dorset County Hospital’s Emergency Department and Critical Care Units both require additional capacity and this major project will significantly increase capacity and transform the experience of our patients. Funding for the build will come from the government’s New Hospital Programme.
The new ED and Critical Care Unit will be the largest capital investment at the hospital since it opened 1998 and the custom built, state-of-the-art facilities will be of lasting benefit to the population served by Dorset County Hospital.

Dr Steve Meek, Consultant Emergency Physician in the DCH Emergency Department said,
“Last year our Emergency teams looked after over 50,000 patients – the facility was originally built for less than half that number – just 22,000.

“We know that attending the Emergency Department as a patient can be a stressful experience and a cramped layout and crowded waiting areas can create more anxiety. In the new plan both the capacity and layout of the department will be greatly improved.”

Dr David Quick, Consultant in Anaesthetics and Critical Care Medicine said,
“The new Critical Care Unit will provide a facility that is purpose built to enhance the care for patients, to provide families with support and access to their loved ones and provide an environment for the staff to work to their full potential.”

The Appeal has been given a fantastic start thanks to the support of the Dorset County Show Chair, Nicki Ralph, who selected Dorset County Hospital Charity’s Emergency & Critical Care Appeal as their Charity of the Year.

Dorset County Show organiser James Cox said,
“The experiences of our Chair Nicki and her husband have highlighted the fact none of us know when we may need critical care. To have state-of-the-art resources on hand at our local hospital makes us incredibly fortunate. We’re delighted to fundraise for this fantastic cause.”
This is DCH Charity’s biggest ever fundraising appeal and to make it successful we need the support of the local community. There will be many opportunities to support the appeal over the next three years and we invite anyone interested in finding out more to contact us directly by emailing or visit