WORK has started on the construction of a new £98million hospital for Ascot.

The new Heatherwood Hospital should be complete by 2021.

Dr Tim Ho, medical director of the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust that runs Heatherwood said: “We are delighted that work to build a new hospital can now begin on the site.

“This will be a fantastic hospital fit for the 21st century, offering state-of the-art care for our patients and a first class working environment for our staff.”

The new facility will replace the ageing Heatherwood Hospital that has stood in Ascot for almost 100 years.

Within 10 years it will provide care for an estimated 168,000 people each year – 85,000 more than the current Heatherwood.

Proposals for the build were first announced in 2014 and the trust has been working with staff, patients and residents as the plans have developed. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead granted planning permission for the development in August 2017.

The new hospital will be built in woodland behind the current site.

It will have six operating theatres and 48 inpatient beds, plus 22 day case cubicles. It will specialise in planned, non-emergency procedures such as orthopaedics, general surgery, urology, gynaecology and endoscopy.

The hospital will also offer a range of outpatient and diagnostic facilities such as cardiology, radiology, lithotripsy, children’s clinic, physiotherapy and orthodontics and space for a primary care hub with GPs, community nurses and other healthcare specialists.

The new Heatherwood Hospital is the latest major development in Frimley Health’s £200m capital investment programme.

In February 2018 the Trust unveiled a £10m upgrade to maternity services at Slough's Wexham Park Hospital, and a new £49m emergency and assessment centre is due to open on the site this spring.

The Trust is also spending a further £35m on improvements to its buildings and environments across other sites.

Frimley Health chief executive Neil Dardis said: “The new hospital will ensure we can offer local patients the best care in the best environment and it is a key part of our strategy to remain an innovative and outstanding trust well into the future.”

“We can’t wait to get started.”