North Bristol NHS Trust supported by ambulance service and military for hospital move

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The move into the Brunel building saw 540 patients transferred from the old wards into the new hospital.

The patient moves were planned to military precision – and even involved the use of an RAF ambulance vehicle to transport some of the sickest patients from the Frenchay Hospital Intensive Care Unit.

North Bristol NHS Trust was also supported by South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) which was involved in transferring 288 patients between Frenchay Hospital and the new Brunel building at Southmead Hospital Bristol. The ambulance SWASFT operation involved 184 members of staff including ambulance crews, the command team, dispatchers and support from the Fleet and Logistics teams.

The move into the new Brunel building started with patients from the old wards at Southmead Hospital Bristol, who were wheeled through a tented walkway set up by a team from Royal Marines Reserve Bristol to protect them from the elements and maintain their privacy and dignity. 229 patients were moved from the old Southmead buildings into rooms within the Brunel from May 12 to 16.

18 intensive care patients from Frenchay were transferred to the new facilities at Southmead Hospital Bristol’s Brunel on the weekend of May 17 using the RAF jumbulance. There were also five patients transferred from Southmead’s intensive care unit.

The last inpatients at Frenchay Hospital were then transferred to Southmead Hospital Bristol by SWASFT between May 19 and 22, with the ambulance service transferring 288 patients to the Brunel building.

Assistant director of projects at North Bristol NHS Trust, Ruth Hughes, who was involved in organising the patient moves, said: “We are delighted that the transfers went so smoothly and that patients have settled in well into the new hospital.

“The move included 288 patients from Frenchay wards with the support of South Western Ambulance Service and we thank them for their support in helping the transfers go smoothly. We also moved 18 patients from Frenchay’s intensive care unit with the support of the RAF’s Jumbulance and thank them for their help at this busy time.”

Ken Wenman, chief executvie of SWASFT, said: “The Trust has received very positive feedback from the North Bristol NHS Trust who have commented on the professionalism and care our staff gave to the patients during the transfer. I would like to say thank you to all those involved for making the operation such a success. The Trust has a very good working relationship with North Bristol NHS Trust and I am pleased to see this continue.”