A new £11.5 million surgical decision unit has opened in Somerset this week.

The unit will allow staff at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton to assess patients from across Somerset faster and decide if they need emergency surgery.

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust‘s consultant surgeon Marianne Hollyman says the new unit would allow “easy access” to care.

She added: “We need to put the investment in now, so we can improve patient’s care in the longer term.”

The new unit is closer to the emergency and x-ray department and will be combined with the emergency surgical ambulatory care clinic.

“The new unit will increase the chance of a patient who has come in for assessment, being able to leave hospital on the same day,” Ms Hollyman said.

Alan Dunkley, an orthopaedic consultant, said the unit will benefit people who need an urgent surgical assessment.

“Opening this new unit means patients who are referred by their GP for a review of an urgent orthopaedic problem can be seen in a specific assessment area rather than at the busy emergency department,” he said.

“This new unit will provide a more suitable environment to allow us to assess whether patients require emergency surgery, or even if we can avoid them needing a stay in hospital.”

The surgical decisions unit is located in the former therapies area of the hospital’s Queen’s Building.

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