Southmead Hospital's Brunel building fully opens today

11:10am Wednesday 28th May 2014

A NEW £430million building, housing the region’s acute healthcare facilities, fully opened today.

All staff, services and patients have now transferred to the Brunel building at Southmead Hospital from Frenchay Hospital and older parts of Southmead.

During the course of the two-week move a total of 540 patients have been safely transferred and settled into the new hospital, including a number of critically ill patients from the intensive care units at both sites.

Frenchay's A&E department was successfully moved overnight on May 19 and the regional trauma service has treated 15 major trauma cases in the last week, seven transferred in from other hospitals.

Andrea Young, chief executive of North Bristol NHS Trust which is in charge of both Frenchay and Southmead hospitals, said: “The last few weeks and months have been an unprecedented time for everyone and I would like to pay tribute to our amazing staff and volunteers who have worked the extra mile to ensure this move has been the success that it has.

“We have had some teething problems around getting our theatres up to the exceptional standard that we want which has resulted in us rescheduling a number of planned operations. All emergency and urgent work did go ahead, along with some routine operations and we are now getting back on track in terms of theatre capacity.

"I’d like to offer sincere apologies to those affected and assure them that their operation will be rebooked as quickly as possible.”

She said feedback about the new building, where 75 per cent of the 800 beds are in single en-suite rooms, had been positive.

“The biggest response from patients has been the benefits of being able to close the door, to rest and sleep well in their single rooms,” said Ms Young.

“The Brunel building gives us our greatest opportunity to truly fulfil our potential to provide exceptional healthcare, personally delivered. Almost all of our staff from the old Southmead and Frenchay hospitals have moved across so the clinical expertise that has been developed at both sites over the years will continue and indeed flourish in their new surroundings.”

Maternity, pathology and breast care services have not moved at Southmead and a Macmillan Wellbeing Centre will open soon in the refurbished Beaufort House.

The trust has planning permission for 490 houses on the Frenchay site which it will sell for an estimated £29million to repay government loans.

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