AN Oxfordshire A&E has begun its £750,000 expansion.

Work started yesterday at Banbury's Horton General Hospital and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, it will be spent to expand the majors area, where most seriously ill patients are taken to be assessed, and separate paediatric and adult spaces in the emergency department.

The newly created children’s area will provide a dedicated space treating young people. Four additional cubicles will also be created through the re-location and re-provision of staff offices.

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One of the cubicles will be an isolation room for 'enhanced infection control use'.

Sam Foster, chief nursing officer at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Horton, said: “This is an important project as it enables us to expand our emergency care for patients in north Oxfordshire.

"These improvement works will make the Horton Emergency Department a better place to work and provide better facilities for our staff to deliver care."

She added: "I am particularly pleased that we will be able to provide a better environment for children needing emergency care.”

The trust was awarded the £750,000 as part of a £300 million package announced in August to help NHS trusts prepare for winter.