Near Neighbours

To prepare for the opening of the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital in 2024, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust has been working closely with local residents, businesses, communities, voluntary and faith-based organisation to establish a Near Neighbours Group.

They have seen first-hand the build of the new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital, and involving residents and their communities in a continuous conversation is key to building a close and lasting relationship.

Being a good partner is a priority for the Trust, and that’s why at these sessions, attendees had the opportunity to meet the executive team for MMUH and members of the Balfour Beatty construction team, and ask any questions or raise concerns.

Three Near Neighbours events were held earlier this year, and the Trust is addressing the feedback received and continues to work closely with our Midland Met partners to find solutions to concerns and issues raised at the meetings. Themes arising from earlier engagement will form topics of discussion at future Near Neighbours meetings and events. Our Near Neighbours will be contacted with further details about future meetings.

Here are the Frequently Asked Questions raised at the Near Neighbours meetings earlier this year.  The Trust continues to work closely with our Midland Met partners to address concerns and issues raised at the meetings.

Travel, transport and parking are very important areas to the Trust and our local Midland Met communities, who have expressed concern about car parking when the hospital opens.  The Trust is developing an overall framework Travel Plan which will support our Green/Sustainability ambitions and our strategic objectives for Patients, People and Population.  Creating this integrated plan will make it easier for patients, staff and visitors to access the Trust’s services and places of work.

FAQs

Balfour Beatty / building of the new hospital

Why are all the lights on in the hospital all day and night?

Energy costs are at the front of all our minds. The lights are on full time at the moment as Balfour Beatty are patrolling the building with a security team and operatives checking for issues such as leaks, as the construction works get completed.  

As the building progresses, there will be greater ability to limit the amount of lights left on.

The out of hours delivery schedule on site, evenings and weekends are of concern.

The construction phase of the hospital is progressing and deliveries to site are reducing – most now will be in normal working hours. This is expected to continue when the building is handed over to the Trust and installation of equipment begins. There may be some minimal exceptions to normal working day deliveries.   

Homes that were directly opposite were concerned about their privacy, as they put it, “if we can see the workman, they can see us” and wanted to know what could be done about this.

This issue has been added to the construction programme, highlighting the sensitivities of local residents.

Privacy screen installation as part of the construction programme will be prioritised for the areas adjacent to local housing.  

What is the smoke coming out from the Flue Tower?

The Flue Tower (North Elevation) is for hospital heating only. There is no crematorium facility at MMUH. Extract velocity, topology surveys and planning considerations are all taken into taken into account to avoid any smell spill to adjacent areas.

Opportunities – future workforce and retail

Where can people find out about vacancies for the new Midland Met Hospital?

Vacancies at the Trust are all advertised on the Trust website. Many of these posts will relocate to Midland Met once the new hospital opens. As we get nearer to opening more positions dedicated to the new hospital will be advertised. For our latest vacancies, visit https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/work-for-us/.

How can local businesses find out about retail opportunities?

The Trust is looking through its plans to identify spaces which can be offered as retail opportunities for local businesses. As these opportunities arise, we will share how to register an interest.

Traffic and Parking

Will resident’s home parking be affected? Some people may choose not to pay for parking. / Will there be ‘Do not enter’ signs for residential areas near the new hospital?

We recognise this issue and we are keen to collaborate with the local councils and the West Midlands Combined Authority to look into the plans for parking for residential areas.

We have committed to arranging a follow up meeting to discuss parking issues, bringing other agencies round the table (e.g. local authority representatives) and will inform you of the meeting details in due course.

What are the parking arrangements at the new hospital?

There are 1600 onsite parking spaces over two floors underneath the building, plus electronic charging facilities as part of our green strategy. We anticipate this is sufficient to serve the patients, staff and visitors to Midland Met.  And, as outpatients and routine diagnostics services will not take place at the Midland Met hospital, just acute and emergency care – this means the footfall people at the hospital will be significantly less.

And will the car parking at the new hospital need increasing in the future?

We anticipate that parking will be sufficient for those visiting the hospital. Local transport services are also being improved to ensure our local populations are able to easily access the hospital.

How will the traffic on City Road/Dudley Road be

Birmingham City Council will be widening the roadways and improving the bus lanes and transport network within the area.  We are working with the council to connect the bike cycle lanes through the hospital site to help ease congestion in the area.

Cranford Street/Way is privately owned, will residents need or get permits?

This will be raised with the local authority as part of the discussions about travel, transport and car parking around the new hospital site.  

Sustainability

How will the new hospital meet net zero and improve sustainability?

The Trust has a Green Strategy in place. The Midland Met hospital is fully insulated and this is an important part of the Trust’s journey to become net carbon zero by 2030.  

With many new residential areas being built within the area, will the new hospital be able to meet the demands and needs of the local population?

Yes, the business case has been updated to take into account the healthcare changes following the covid-19 pandemic, demographic changes. There is also enough capacity to expand in the future.

Regeneration and housing

What will happen to the derelict and empty buildings at the City site and the empty flats around it?

The Trust has sold the City Hospital land to Homes England who will be developing the site for residential use.

What will happen to the derelict buildings unoccupied behind the new hospital?

We are working closely with local partners on a masterplan for the Smethwick to Birmingham corridor that should see positive changes to the area surrounding the new hospital.

Services at the Midland Met Hospital

Will there be a pathology laboratory at the new hospital?

There will be a small pathology laboratory at Midland Met to carry out essential services.  Routine blood tests will be carried out across many sites in Birmingham and Sandwell as it is today.

Are there enough ambulatory care unit beds for emergency arrivals?

There will be a same day emergency care facility within the new hospital, as well as a large Emergency Department.

Community partnerships

How will community organisations and faith groups be able to work in partnership with the new Midland Met hospital?

There are many areas within the hospital, such as Winter Garden space, which is an inviting place for visitors, patients and staff to meet and relax.  It is also the main welcoming point and with space for a large art gallery. Public spaces are designed to be accessible for anyone to access – not just patients and visitors

How can local community and voluntary groups get involved with the art gallery?

We have several programmes in development that imagines the hospital as a site for socially engaged art, a place for children beyond the classroom and a civic and community hub and garden. To see how your organisation can work with us contact amy.martin31@nhs.net.

The Learning Campus

What is the purpose of the Learning Campus?

The Learning Campus is being built in partnership with the Sandwell College, Aston and Wolverhampton universities, and incorporates The Learning Works​.

Through targeted courses for 1280 learners, it will focus on bridging the gap on skill shortages across additional clinical services, allied health professionals and nursing and midwifery.   The Learning Campus will also provide learners with pathways into long term employment, complimenting the delivery of transformational regeneration in the area​.

Future meetings

When will the follow up meeting take place?

There will be a series of themed meetings in the future covering topics such as parking, travel and access. We will keep you informed of when they will take place.

We are now preparing for the next meeting to discuss travel and access. Once we have a date and venue, we will contact the Midland Met Near Neighbours to let them know.

For more information and to read other frequently asked questions visit: https://www.swbh.nhs.uk/midland-metropolitan-university-hospital/frequently-asked-questions/