BARNSLEY Hospital's accident and emergency department is being extended to increase capacity.

Building work has now started which will see a ten bed observation unit added to the back of the current department - and on increasing the number of resuscitation beds from three to five.

The building work will be taking place at the front of the hospital, on Gawber Road.

The sheltered, seated area at the front of the hospital and some disabled car parking spaces outside physiotherapy will also be affected as extra storage and building equipment will need to be set up on site.

Hospital spokesman Heather Mcnair said: “The addition of the observation ward to our emergency services will be of great benefit to many Barnsley patients. It will allow our staff in the emergency department to treat and observe patients in need of extended urgent care that don’t necessarily need to be admitted to a general ward in the hospital.”

The development is expected to be complete by June 2013.