Brand New Hospital One Step Closer

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Patients from Bristol and surrounding areas are one step closer to benefiting from a brand new hospital.
NHS South West today announced its approval of plans for the 800 bed hospital to be built on the current Southmead site, subject to Department of Health confirmation. This means North Bristol NHS Trust can proceed to assess the two excellent bids which will now be finalised and select a preferred bidder.
The new privately financed hospital is just one strand of the Bristol Health Services Plan which set out to transform health services across the city. Increased services will be provided closer to home, with the development of more community and primary care facilities. New NHS Community Hospitals are being built at Southmead, Frenchay and Hengrove, with further community developments at Yate, Cossham, Eastville, Clevedon and Thornbury.
The new plans for Bristol are in-line with NHS South West’s vision for health services across the South West. The Strategic Framework for Improving Health sets out a challenging and dynamic vision to transform health and health services throughout the region over the next few years.
The new privately financed hospital will coincide with a number of other key service developments that will ensure that Bristol and the surrounding region remains at the heart of innovative health care provision.
Work is taking place now to review how NHS services can be better planned and located across the city’s main hospitals, to transform health services and better deliver patient care. With input from local patients and clinicians we are currently looking at heart attack and stroke services and the improvements we can make to local people’s care, drawing on the specialist skills and equipment available in our local hospitals. We will soon be able to set out proposals for significant improvements in heart attack and stroke services.
The new hospital now provides all of the health organisations and their clinical teams with a unique opportunity to further develop our ambitions in line with the NHS South West Strategic Framework and to ensure that key specialist services across the city and the region are in line with best national and international practice.
Some of the additional benefits that the new hospital will provide include:
· 800 beds with 75% of beds in single rooms, all with en-suite facilities. All rooms will have facilities for relatives to stay overnight.
· 32 state of the art operating theatres and diagnostic rooms.
· Emergency Department with a separate entrance and direct access from a helipad.
Sonia Mills, Chief Executive for North Bristol NHS Trust said:
“A very significant stage has been passed today. We can now look at two finalised and fully worked up bid proposals. I am delighted that despite the current challenging economic climate, NHS South West can see how vital this new hospital is for patients.
“I am confident we will soon be able to choose our preferred bidder from two excellent proposals. After that, we move to final consideration of the contract, and, subject to final approvals, construction work on the new scheme can begin in earnest.
“A great deal of enabling work is already taking place on the Southmead site to create space for the new hospital, and we begin to move into these new buildings in the late summer.
“I hope that when we are in a position to publicise the design for our chosen proposal to the public, who in the future will be using the building, will be as excited as the many staff who have been working on the plans.

“New community facilities are also in construction and will come into use before the new hospital, and that has always been a key part in providing more local access to healthcare.”

Martin Morse, Medical Director at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “Today’s decision by NHS South West to formally support the building of the new hospital at Southmead represents a major step on the path towards provision of improved healthcare, not only for the people of Bristol and South Gloucestershire, but for all those throughout the South-West and from further afield who look to Bristol for their healthcare.
“Being able to put the expertise and equipment needed to support specialities required for acute hospital care on to one site, rather than being spread between Frenchay and Southmead, is something that clinical staff at the two hospitals have long wished for. To be able to do so in a newly built hospital of cutting edge design, with the latest technology and hugely improved facilities, will be an additional fantastic benefit for both patients and staff.”
Deborah Evans, Chief Executive for NHS Bristol said: “The decision today is great news for local people. The Bristol Health Services Plan has brought the delivery of community based services into sharp focus and has enabled patients to get the right treatment in the right place.
“The new hospital will now enable us to progress our ambitions even further by concentrating on the next phase of providing world class specialist services to patients who rely upon the NHS.
“The new hospital provides the opportunity to concentrate our specialist care services and functions in places where they will achieve the most benefit for patient care not only today but in the future.”
She continued: “The design and construction of the new build will also provide us with an economic stimulus in the region at a time where many of our industries are feeling the bite of the credit crunch. This will be a much welcomed project for local people and those who will be employed on the construction of the new hospital.”