The state of the art specialist Brunel building, as part of the re-worked Southmead Hospital, is definitely catching industry eyes, as the £430 million development continues to build momentum in Bristol.
Housing an impressive 800 beds, 75% of which are single rooms complete with en-suites, the Brunel building unites teams from both Southmead and Frenchay Hospitals to provide specialist services to patients across Bristol and South Gloucester. As well as operating maternity and neonatal intensive care units, the Brunel building will also be the new home of the major trauma centre, accident and emergency, neurosciences, plastics and adult burns units, which has made the move from Frenchay Hospital.
The modern and innovative building was officially opened on 28th May 2014, although plans for it’s creation began back in 2005. After cutting the ribbon, the next six weeks were spent stocking the building with the hospital becoming fully open and operational by the end of May.
Project manager Trisha Down said the first thing the team did was look at other hospitals and organisations to see what they did successfully, so that they could utilise the same techniques. “We learnt as much from the spaces we didn’t feel were as good as the ones that worked really well. We took all of that learning and put it into the specifications for this hospital,” she said. This included creating a special route through the hospital so that patients don’t have to be wheeled through public areas before or after operations.
Juliette Hughes, matron of the accident and emergency unit told BBC News “We’ve been planning it for so many years now it feels really exciting now it’s going to be a reality. The challenge is making sure the public know what is happening and that they can access our services seamlessly. It will be the same team, the same excellent care just in a nicer environment.”
Clinical matron Kenny Gale said the new building would be make a huge difference to his team, saying “I don’t think the staff will fully realise how much we have had to make do and cope and struggle to deliver care in the old building until they move into this state-of-the-art building.” Consultant Seema Srivastava agreed, commenting “For the first time ever my team will all be in the same building. Presently we’re on two sites and the time we save travelling between the two sites we can now spend giving excellent quality care.”
Southmead Hospital works as part of North Bristol NHS Trust, one of the largest hospital trusts in South West England, hiring a huge 9,000 strong staff to provide healthcare and community services to 300,000 patients located across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.
Andrea Young, chief executive of North Bristol NHS Trust, said the completion of the Brunel building was the “pinnacle of 10 years of hard work”. Speaking at the building’s opening in May, she commented “This is a landmark day for the patients who use our services. For them this is the really important day, because the hospital belongs to the people who use it.”
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