News round-up: Construction and design

Consultation on radiotherapy revamp

AN EXHIBITION and roadshow are to be held in Worcestershire next month to give residents the chance to comment on plans for a proposed radiotherapy unit at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. Planning permission has been sought for the ‘world class’ unit to be built at the Worcester hospital, and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAH) wants people to see the plans for themselves. Adel Makar, consultant urologist and lead cancer clinician at WAH, said: “We are delighted we have reached the planning approval stage as it means our plans to open the county’s radiotherapy facility by the end of 2013 are still on track. I hope that as many people as possible take the opportunity to look at the proposals for themselves as we are extremely keen to hear views.”

A and E revamp plan for Newham

NEWHAM University Hospital NHS Trust has launched a public consultation as it prepares to start work on a £7m redevelopment of its A&E and urgent care departments. A Full Business Case for the refurbishment and expansion project has recently been submitted to NHS London and work is planned to start in September if this is approved. The new development will bring a range of benefits for staff, patients and visitors including increased capacity, an enhanced environment, improved privacy and dignity, the creation of a new paediatric facility, and improved patient pathways. To gauge reaction to the project, members of the public are being asked to full in an online questionnaire. Justin Pereira, assistant director for site development and facilities, said: “This is a really exciting project for the trust as well as Newham residents. The trust is committed to providing the highest standard of facilities and the redevelopment of the emergency department and urgent care centre will allow us to create a facility that will be able to meet the needs of a growing population while providing the highest possible standards.”

£7.9m car park opens at Lister Hospital

A NEW £7.9m car park for patients, staff and visitors to the Lister Hospital in Hertfordshire will open on 2 September. Built and run by VINCI Park, the facility will have around 500 spaces for visitors, including 63 designated for blue badge holders. A pay-on-exit system has also been introduced to coincide with the launch. Commenting on the opening, Nick Carver, chief executive of East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said: “While much of the focus on the Lister’s transformation has been around investment in new clinical services, infrastructure developments such as our new car park are equally important. Indeed it is one of the most frequent issues that is raised with me year on year by many people.” The car park also boasts a number of environmentally-friendly and sustainable technologies, including a green wall, a silent turbine that generates 10% of the building’s electricity needs, and an adjoining green plaza. “The new green plaza between the car park and the Lister Surgicentre provides the hospital with a real sense of arriving – something that the old main entrance very much lacked,” said Carver. “It also provides people with a pleasant place in which to relax in the open air and is home to a piece of iconic sculpture that had been created out of a large oak tree that had to be felled to make way for the new building.”

Test track gets an environmental facelift

PATIENTS at Lancashire's specialist mobility rehabilitation centre are digging in and sprucing up a specialist test track used to try out the latest wheelchairs and prosthetics. Patient Anne Cort and her husband have been planting herbs and scented plants on the track to create a seasonal multi-sensory garden. There is also a children’s area containing brightly-coloured flowers and ornaments for younger patients to enjoy. The track is used to enable patients to test new types of prosthesis and wheelchairs on different types of surfaces, such as cobbles and tarmac. The revamp project was funded by charity donations. Cort said: “I have been a patient at the centre for quite a while and really value the service it provides. I wanted to give something back and improve the environment for patients and thought that a multi-sensory garden would be a good way to go about it.” Phil Purcell, quality manager at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “It is always good to see patients taking an interest in their services and we are very proud of the passion they show for the centre.”

Hospitals say ‘no’ to mixed-sex wards

MIXED-SEX accommodation has been eliminated at two community hospitals in Bath and Bristol following refurbishment work to create dedicated toilet and washroom facilities. Nikki Woodland, community hospitals manager at NHS Bath and North East Somerset, said: “We are proud to confirm that mixed-sex accommodation has been eliminated in both our inpatient units at Paulton Memorial Hospital and St Martin's Community Hospital. Patients who are admitted to either of our hospitals will only share their sleeping space with members of the same sex and same sex toilets and bathrooms will be close to their bed area.”

Green light for Stoke GP surgery

PLANS for a new GP surgery in Stoke-on-Trent have been given the green light by council chiefs. Planning permission has been granted for the development on the corner of Ashwell Road and Hartshill Road. The 800sq m facility, developed by NHS Stoke on Trent and to be constructed by Prime and Prima 200, will house the existing Hartshill Surgery, which has 6,300 patients and five GPs. To be called the Hartshill Medical Centre, it was designed by One Creative Environments and will also offer an on-site pharmacy and multi-purpose room. Alison Challinor, practice manager at Hartshill Surgery, said: “We’re really pleased to have reached this important milestone in the development of our new premises. Contracts have yet to be finalised, but it is hoped work on the new surgery will begin early next year.”

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

Members of the public are invited to enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the £123m North Middlesex University Hospital development before its official launch later in the year. The tours will be held on 15 September and will include a visit to A and E, an inpatient ward, critical care facility and theatres.

Work is underway on the construction of a state-of-the-art MRI scanner suite next to the existing X-ray department at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. The suite will house two new MRI scanners replacing the single device currently in use. Mainly single-storey, the new building will have a two-storey plant room at one end and will boast a novel ‘green roof’ planted with colourful flowering sedum in a bid to soften the visual impact from surrounding buildings.

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