A REVAMP of Colchester General Hospital’s outpatients department is set to reduce patient waiting times.

The hospital trust has submitted plans to Colchester Council to replace the existing department’s reception and waiting area.

As part of the overhaul - which could cost up to £1million - extra space will be created for three new consulting suites.

The trust says these additional rooms will help improve the department’s efficiency so will help to shorten waiting times for patients.

The new reception area, to be built on the site of an existing, unused courtyard, will include a desk and visitor check-in kiosks, new digital displays for patient information and clinic waiting times, seating for 70 people and new toilets.

Under the plans, a new department entrance will also be created and is aimed at reducing the bottleneck around the main hospital one.

The plans are part of the trust’s process to transfer services from Essex County Hospital in Lexden Road, to the main general hospital in Turner Road, by April 2015.

Contracts for the building project at the outpatients department are currently out to tender so the exact costs cannot be confirmed, but it is estimated to be in the region of £500,000 to £1million.

Colchester Council aims to decide on the latest plans by September 2.