The trust board has approved plans to redevelop the emergency department at the Royal Free Hospital, including the provision of a dedicated department for children.

The £25 million redevelopment will include a new 23-hour assessment unit as well as a rapid assessment and treatment area, a larger resuscitation area and a diagnostic hub, which includes x-ray and CT scanning services. The plans also include the redevelopment of the urgent care centre and the provision of a dedicated paediatric emergency department.

The current emergency departments was built to care for up to 60,000 patients a year and currently treats more than 90,000 patients every year. The new facility, which is designed to support the delivery of world class care to our patients, will ensure the emergency department is fit for purpose. Planning permission has been granted by Camden Council.

The emergency department will need to remain fully functional throughout the construction period and the works will take place in a number of phases. The first phase of the construction work is expected to begin in September and the project is due to be completed in early 2017.

David Sloman, the chief executive of the Royal Free, said: “This wonderful new facility will enable us to provide the best possible care for the local population. It is a hugely exciting project and I am delighted that the board has given its approval to the plans. The new emergency department will attract high calibre staff and will ensure that we continue to surpass government targets for treating emergency patients.

“According to the friends and family test, a survey carried out among our patients, 88% of patients would be likely or extremely likely to recommend our emergency department to a friend or a member of their family. However, some of the negative comments we receive are about the poor environment of our emergency department. This is our chance to put that right.