Frequently Asked Question's
How are you planning to change how healthcare is delivered?
Bristol has some of the poorest quality hospital buildings in the country and investment is badly needed to enable us to improve the services we can provide to our patients. Our medical colleagues tell us that some of our facilities are so poor they make it very difficult to provide good quality care. It is testimony to their hard work that the quality of care we provide is so high.
In line with national and international trends, we want to create more healthcare facilities in local communities so that patients can access routine services like outpatient appointments, diagnostics, therapies and minor injury care closer to home. These services will be backed up by one acute hospital for residents of North Bristol and South Gloucestershire that can provide the highly specialised treatment that sicker patients need.
Where will I go to get treatment in the future?
Many people will be able to go to their local healthcare facility for treatments such as outpatient appointments, therapy services, investigations such as ultrasound and general X-ray and minor injury services. When community facilities are up and running in North Bristol and South Gloucestershire, 300,000 people who currently travel to an acute hospital will not need to go to the new hospital at Southmead but will be able to access the care they need in a community facility.
Will there be separate community facilities on Frenchay and Southmead sites?
Yes.There will be a community hospital on the Frenchay site and community facilities will be integrated into the acute hospital at Southmead. We have decided to do this because we can then make maximum use of shared services such as investigation equipment (X-rays, ultrasound) and can use staff more flexibly. This means that we will not duplicate services and space. There will be an identifiable entry to the community area or ‘zone’ from which patients will be able to access a number of community services such as minor injuries, outpatients and some diagnostic services. There will be a ward specifically allocated for community inpatient services.
Will there be single sex wards in the new acute hospital at Southmead?
Yes, all facilities will meet single sex requirements. There will be 75% single rooms and bays of 4 beds, which will be single sex.
Will there be facilities for disabled people?
Yes. We set out a design brief that stated what facilities need to be included both inside and outside the buildings to ensure that the buildings are easily accessible to disabled people. We are also planning appropriate facilities for people who live independently when they are inpatients, for example bathroom facilities for people who use wheelchairs.
How will you handle infection control in the new acute hospital?
The new facilities have been designed to the latest national standards which include a high percentage of single rooms (75%), smaller bays of four beds, a cluster of isolation rooms and 100% single rooms in intensive care facilities. Ensuring effective infection control is one of our highest priorities and we are designing the new hospital with this in the forefront of our minds.
Will you have enough beds when the new facilities at Southmead and Frenchay are built?
Yes, we have done a lot of work on this issue to make sure that there will be enough beds when the new hospital is built. It is important to understand that the issue is not simply how many beds there will be but how the National Health Service best meets the needs of patients both now and in the future. We are using the best available projections for population and housing growth in the area to inform our plans. Here in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset we are changing how healthcare is provided in line with national developments. We are providing more and more care in community settings, which means that fewer acute hospital beds are needed. At North Bristol NHS Trust we are doing more procedures as day cases and reducing the time patients spend in hospital. Ten years ago a patient spent a week in hospital following a hernia operation but today hernia operations are done as day cases. There are similar reductions in other areas. This means that we are able to care for larger numbers of patients with fewer acute hospital beds.
What are your plans for children's services?
The majority of children’s inpatient services are planned to be provided at the Bristol Children’s Hospital, although some outpatient and all community services will continue to be provided by North Bristol NHS Trust.
What is happening with the maternity and NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) services on the Southmead site?
These services will continue to be provided from their current location. In addition we have a free-standing, midwife-led birth centre in the Cossham Hospital redevelopment which opened in January 2013.
What will the new acute and integrated community hospital at Southmead be like?
We are aiming for a pleasant, landscaped site in which patients and staff feel safe. We also want a state-of-the-art hospital building that makes maximum use of natural light, feels light and airy, is easily accessible and makes use of environmental materials. Planning approval was granted in 2009 for the redevelopment of Southmead Hospital. In addition, the single rooms will allow patients and their families more privacy than at present and will also give staff a better area in which to work. The higher proportion of single rooms will also help us to minimise the spread of infections.
Will a new planning application have to be put in by the private partner for their design?
Planning approval was granted in 2009 for the redevelopment of Southmead Hospital.
How will you build a new facility whilst keeping the existing facilities running?
All buildings that were in the site where the new hospital will be built have been demolished – these were primarily services which patients did not visit such as estates services and education. All remained services will remain in situ and will transfer to the new hospital when completed.
Do you have plans to make the new buildings sustainable?
Yes. Sustainability is an important issue for the Trust. The Trust has set stringent sustainability targets including an energy consumption target which is lower than the national maximum for healthcare, targets for carbon emissions, use of recycled material in the building construction and avoidance of landfill. The Trust’s Treading Lightly scheme will be further supported in the continuing development of sustainable practice through recycling facilities within the new hospital and its grounds. There will also be better facilities to support people who choose not to drive their car to work such as better cycling services, improved bus drop off and car club services.
What are you doing about helping to regenerate the local area?
The Trust’s aim as part of the redevelopment project is to support the regeneration of the Southmead area. The Trust is working with the council and other stakeholders to develop plans to bring employment and services to the local people.
How many staff will be employed in the new acute hospital at Southmead?
The NHS is changing faster now than ever before and these changes are affecting how care is delivered and by which organisations. Purely for planning purposes, we are using a model that suggests that there will be a move of approximately 700/800 staff members from the acute hospital to other facilities because of service transfers, but the changes in the role of PCTs (Primary Care Trusts) might mean that some staff transfer to the acute hospital. Many jobs which only work in one place at the moment (eg hospital), will in the future involve mobility, with the same care team looking after patients at every stage of the journey. We anticipate that everyone we employ will be affected by some changes associated with these exciting developments.
Why has this process taken so long?
It takes time to work up plans for such a large hospital which is about 1 million square feet in size – the equivalent to 17 football pitches or 800 Olympic size swimming pools. We need to make sure that we get the plans right as we only get one chance at this. There are also processes and checking systems that we have to go through to make sure that our plans are in the best interests of the NHS and the taxpayers and this also takes time.
When will the new hospital at Southmead be ready to accept patients?
We are working on a plan that shows that the new facilities would be ready for patients in 2014.
When will the community hospital at Frenchay be built and what is the overall timetable?
What progress has been made on the facilities planned for Frenchay?
- 68 NHS community rehabilitation beds
- Outpatient clinics, to include care of the elderly, respiratory medicine, diabetes
- Diagnostic tests including bloods, x-ray, ultrasound and echocardiogram
- Therapy services such as speech and language, physiotherapy, dietetics and occupational therapy.
Will the facilities at Frenchay be built by a PFI bidder?
What will happen to the land that you sell and how much will you sell it for?
How will the plans affect how far people have to travel to get to hospital?
Bristol Health Services Plan (BHSP) commissioned the Local Authority Joint Strategic Planning and Transportation Unit (JSPTU) to conduct a study into the travel and access implications of the Bristol Health Services Plan in North Bristol and South Gloucestershire. It looked at travel and access issues for patients, visitors and staff travelling to different hospital and community sites in North Bristol and South Gloucestershire. The study examined what proportions of the public will be advantaged and disadvantaged by the BHSP and the effects on emergency and non-emergency patients, visitors and staff. It also aimed to identify travel and access issues that will need to be addressed in the future. This report concluded there are benefits for the majority of the population, particularly those living closest to new planned community facilities in Yate, Thornbury and Eastville. However it also found travel and access disadvantages for some areas of outer east Bristol and South Gloucestershire with average increases in travel time in the range of one to ten minutes. The BHSP is changing how healthcare is delivered across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, providing more community facilities closer to where people live backed up by specialist services in two major acute hospitals across the region. These will be Southmead and the Bristol Royal Infirmary. In the future, more services will be provided in local communities, meaning that fewer patients will need to travel to hospital for their treatment. The report noted that patients attending outpatient appointments account for over three quarters (77 percent) of all trips to hospital by patients. In the future, over half (55 percent) of all outpatient appointments will take place in community facilities and 71 percent of minor injury services will also be provided in community settings. Of course some people will need to travel to their nearest acute hospital and the report also looked at their journey times. It found that overall average journey times for patients who need to be admitted to hospital for emergency care will improve but average journeys for people living in outer East Bristol and the south of South Gloucestershire will increase by between two and six minutes. However, the ambulance service supports the move to a single acute hospital for North Bristol and South Gloucestershire and has told us it will still be able to meet national standard for response times. Medical staff also say the most important issue is how quickly an ambulance can get to the patients in the first place, with staff then being able to assess and stabilise the patient before they are taken to hospital. Medical staff believe it is more important that a patient receives excellent care when they get to hospital than get to hospital a few minutes quicker. They are also clear that concentrating emergency and specialist services on one site will enable us to provide the best possible care to patients.
How will you make it easier to get to Southmead?
The Trust has agreed to pay £1.5 million for improvements to public transport and almost another £1 million for improvements to road junctions in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Work is underway between the Trust and the local councils. A Joint Officers Transport Group has been established to lead this work and this will include identifying how the Trust’s public transport investment should best be spent in order to enable as many people as possible to get to the hospital by bus. An accessibility study has been produced which helps to inform these discussions. It will also finalise proposals for how the road infrastructure funding will be invested and ensure there is appropriate provision for those who may come to the site by bicycle or on foot.
How many car parking spaces will you have?
The Local Authority has approved planning permission for 2,700 parking spaces on the Southmead site which is over 1,000 more than we have currently on that site. We want to make sure that there is sufficient parking for staff, patients and visitors but we also want to help in developing policies that help protect the environment. We will do this by developing travel plans in association with the town planners and local transport companies to make sure that people can get to and move around the site as easily as possible.
Will the current number of car parking spaces be available during construction?
When the new hospital opens in May 2014, parking for patients will be at the level required. However, for at least a 12 – 18 month period there will be restricted parking for staff. There will be over 750 spaces in June 2014 rising to just over 850 staff spaces by the end of summer 2014 with additional parking becoming available during 2015, with a range of alternative arrangements including a park and ride option.
How will Carillion access the site with their construction vehicles?
The main access to the construction site is from Dorian Way. Carillion has set up offsite parking. Access for emergency vehicles will be assured throughout the construction of the new hospital.
Will you be developing a travel plan?
The Trust updated its travel plan in 2010 with changes being implemented in 2011. The plan seeks to encourage staff and the public to come to the hospital by means other than single occupancy car. We will be working on providing better bus routes to the site by working with local providers. We will also be providing plenty of cycling facilities including 230 cycle stands across the site for staff and visitors and spaces for 300 cycles within the main hospital car park for staff. Space for motorbike parking will also be provided.
Will a helicopter be transferring patients to Southmead Hospital?
There will be a helipad on the Southmead site for air ambulance (helicopter) transfers. Currently, Frenchay Hospital receives patients by air ambulance. This service will move to Southmead when the main acute hospital is located here. There are on average approximately 10 air ambulance visits per month and, although we anticipate that the service will grow, we do not expect to receive significant numbers of flights at Southmead. We have estimated that we might receive 20 flights per month by the time the new hospital is built. Carillion is taking expert advice on the location of the helipad and on making sure that the impact on our local neighbours is minimised.