The maternity unit at the Royal Cornwall Hospital is set to be replaced four years earlier than planned.
Funding for the new £20m unit has not yet been approved
Huge cracks have appeared in the external walls of the Princess Alexandra Wing, which is currently being shored up with scaffolding.
Now the hospital's NHS Trust wants to build a combined maternity, neo-natal and gynaecology facility by 2006.
Director of Planning and Performance, Mike Coupe, says the unexpected cracks have turned into a good opportunity.
Funding for the £20m project has yet to be agreed.