Jul 04th 2022
Opening confirmed for Midland Met
The new acute and emergency hospital in the Midlands, the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital will be open for patients in 2024. The announcement comes following a reset of the construction programme, that has been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The new hospital is being built in Smethwick in the West Midlands and brings together emergency and acute services at Sandwell General Hospital and City Hospital into a single, fit for purpose healthcare facility, operated by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.
The new facility, combined with the associated changes to care pathways, will significantly improve clinical care and people’s experiences of health care services, as well as providing regeneration opportunities for the local area. The new development has experienced significant challenges over the past two years, and prior to this following the collapse of the former construction partner.
The Trust and Balfour Beatty, who have been progressing the building since 2019 are now being assisted by the New Hospital Programme team who have worked with Balfour Beatty to reset the programme and complete new commercial arrangements. This means that the new hospital will open in Spring 2024 and will provide for first class clinical care in the most up-to-date environment.
Talking about the new hospital, Trust Chairman, Sir David Nicholson, said: “I am delighted that we have reached this stage in the development and are able to confirm with confidence that we will open as soon as possible following completed construction of the building, which will be handed over to the Trust before the end of 2023.
“Balfour Beatty and the Trust teams have together been determined to progress the building work over the past two years and it is excellent to see just how many of the departments and clinical areas are nearing completion, to a very high standard.
“We are grateful to the new hospital programme team for their support in ensuring we have the resources and expert advice to complete this new hospital, that will serve the Sandwell and West Birmingham populations for at least 50 years. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to deliver a great facility and improve health outcomes with the added benefits of regeneration for our local communities.”
Mark Bullock, Chief Executive Officer of Balfour Beatty’s UK Construction Services business, said: “We remain steadfast in our commitment to successfully completing this landmark project. Over the coming months, we will continue to work closely and collaboratively with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust and the new hospital programme team, to deliver this long-awaited healthcare facility; one that will provide significant benefits for the local community for many generations to come.”
The new hospital brings together acute and emergency services from across Sandwell and West Birmingham into a single purpose-built facility. The new model of care means that outpatient clinics, day case surgery and routine diagnostics will be provided from the Sandwell and City Hospital sites. Maternity services, emergency care, general surgery (not day case) and medical wards will all take place at MMUH.
As well as being a centre of excellence for clinical care and research, the new hospital is designed around a new therapeutic model of care, to encourage patients to maintain mobility and independence during a hospital stay. The hospital also houses public areas including a winter garden and 80m long art gallery that will be assets for the community. The hospital is one of 48 that the government has committed to deliver across the country by 2030 as part the biggest hospital building programme in a generation to provide state-of-the-art facilities and world-class healthcare provision for patients and staff.
- The building programme has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted on supply chain, workforce and materials. It has also been revised to accommodate a new external façade in light of new fire safety regulations. The construction has been additionally complex due to the collapse of the former contractor and has required a change in the design of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The region is benefitting from significant infrastructure developments, of which this hospital is one, including the Commonwealth Games and HS2.
- The new hospital includes over 700 beds, 11 operating theatres, purpose-built emergency department with collocated diagnostics, 15 delivery rooms for maternity services, and a midwife-led birthing unit. Half of the beds are in single ensuite rooms.
- Balfour Beatty have continued to work throughout the pandemic and currently employs 492 local people with over 800 people on site each day. 320 volunteer days have taken place and the company has supported 102 graduates, apprentices and trainees. During 2021, Balfour Beatty and their suppliers have installed main power to the site, 96 miles of sub-mains cabling, 13 miles of ducting, 570 tonnes of scaffold and 98 miles of pipework.
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