CONSTRUCTION on the first stage of the £485 million redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital has just passed the halfway mark.

The Stage 1 Building is the larger of the two new clinical buildings that the redevelopment will provide on the front half of the hospital site.

It will offer state-of-the-art healthcare facilities for the patients of more than 30 wards and departments.

Construction of the Stage 1 Building began in January 2016. It will be complete at the end of 2020 and start taking patients early in 2021.

The move of services into the Stage 1 Building will allow the rest of the front of the hospital site to be cleared, ready for the redevelopment’s second new building. It will predominantly be a new cancer centre.

Laing O’Rourke, the lead contractor, is currently constructing the concrete framework for Level Eight of the 11-storey building.

The building’s framework and cladding are due to be completed early next year.

Work to construct the heli-deck on top of the Thomas Kemp Tower, the tallest building in the hospital, was also started in January 2016.

It will come into operation early next year and will be the highest hospital heli-deck in Europe, when measured from sea level.

Construction is currently taking place on the new heli-deck lift, with work on the structure of the deck itself very near to completion.

The heli-deck will allow the most severely injured and unwell patients to receive the vital treatment they need more quickly.

It will also play a key role in transferring patients between hospitals by air ambulance.

Currently the air ambulance lands in East Brighton Park and patients have to be transferred to the hospital by road ambulance.