Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has selected UK-based Willmott Dixon to extend and refurbish Luton and Dunstable University Hospital’s emergency department (ED).

The $19.9m (£14.5m) contract will also see the creation of a new entrance into the hospital.

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust redevelopment deputy director Melanie Banks said: “The extension and refurbishment of the Emergency Department at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital is another step forward on a planned journey to redevelop the site.

“The project provides much needed space and facilities for patients, whilst allowing staff to continue to deliver high quality care.

“In addition, the project enables advancements in technology and further paves the way to a more sustainable future.”

Willmott Dixon will also be responsible for creating a new CT scanning department, a new drop off area for visitors and remodelling external areas outside the hospital’s main entrance.

The company will also perform landscaping of external areas.

The Trust said that during the refurbishment works, the existing emergency department will be operational.

In order to minimise inconvenience for the patients and hospital staff, Willmott created an internal link tunnel, which will facilitate a safe movement for patients and staff members.

The refurbishment and extension works are expected to be completed by next year.

Willmott Dixon London and East region managing director Chris Tredget said: “We’re delighted to be working with Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on this extension and refurbishment to the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital’s Emergency Department.

“Once complete, it will create better accessibility and critical facilities that will help improve healthcare for the local community.”