The £17.6million plans are to create an emergency village, including a mini children’s hospital, in a bid to transform emergency care and urgent children’s care in Worksop.
The current children’s ward at the hospital, which is a distance from the Emergency Department, was closed to overnight admissions between 7pm and 8am in 2017 due to safety reasons related to staffing.
This means that hundreds of children every year have to be transferred to Doncaster Royal Infirmary if they require an overnight stay.
Under the new plans by Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group, more than half of those requiring a short time in hospital would be able to stay at Bassetlaw Hospital instead.
The emergency village would offers possibilities to extend current same day emergency care, offer easier access to rapid diagnostics and integrated working with primary and community teams and mental health.
Funding for improvements at the hospital was announced by then Health Secretary Matt Hancock in 2019.
The health scrutiny committee at Nottinghamshire County Council discussed the proposals during its meeting today and councillors agreed to a 12-week consultation period.
One of the options being considered is for a new children’s assessment unit to be built next to the accident and emergency department with patients still being transferred to Doncaster if requiring an overnight stay.
But the “preferred” option is for the site to remain open 24 hours, lowering the number of patients who will need to go to Doncaster.
Medical director at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, Dr Tim Noble told the meeting: “This is a really exciting opportunity for us.
“I was involved in setting up the assessment treatment centre back in 2013 and would’ve dreamed of this opportunity to co-locate, but the funding wasn’t available at that point.”
Councillor David Martin said: “It is great news for Bassetlaw Hospital, you must be chuffed.
“We know nationally that paediatric nurses have been very difficult to get hold of and it is a really good solution to the problem to co-locate them, and you will stop 60 per cent of patients being transferred to Doncaster.”
Councillor John Willmott added: “We all welcome an emergency village.
"It is a marvellous acquisition to the area and I am sure the people will welcome it with open arms.
“To have the service there and available is absolutely magnificent.”
Council documents stated: “The development of the emergency village at Bassetlaw Hospital offers possibilities to extend current same-day emergency care provision for ambulatory care, easier access to rapid diagnostics, integrated service delivery with primary and community teams and mental health.
“This positive change in the care pathway for children to ensure a permanent provision for overnight stays is possible due to the co-location of ED and children’s observation ward (currently some distance apart).
“This will mean fewer staff will be required which mitigates the risk of a shortage of paediatric nurses.
"The new development of a children’s ‘hub’ within the emergency village will potentially also increase the attractiveness of working at Bassetlaw Hospital to new recruits.”