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St. Helier's Hospital redevelopment moves £12.7 million closer

July 2, 2012 10:21 AM

The £219 million redevelopment of St Helier Hospital has taken another leap forward, as the next wave of funding - a £12.7 million cash injection that will be spent on demolishing a third of the hospital site - has been approved by our strategic health authority, NHS London.

The approval means that work to demolish Ferguson House (an area that currently houses the majority of the hospital's outpatient clinics, residential accommodation for doctors and nurses, and offices for our administrative teams) is a step closer.

The funding is now subject to final approval from the Department of Health.

Of course, before the bulldozers arrive on site, the building must be cleared, with the majority of the services and staff that are currently based there being moved - on a temporary basis - to Sutton Hospital.

To allow for this, a large section of the Sutton site will be upgraded, with work due to start in August. Hospital staff are expected to start moving to Sutton Hospital in October with clinical services (mainly outpatient clinics) scheduled to follow in July 2013.

The demolition of Ferguson House is due to start in late 2013, and is expected to take up to six months. Construction work will begin in early 2015, with the new building due to open in late 2017.

Chief Executive, Matthew Hopkins, said: "Today's announcement takes us a step closer to being able to get the ball rolling on one of the most exciting elements of the St Helier redevelopment - demolishing the part of the site that will house the brand new hospital building.

"St Helier is obviously a very popular hospital, delivering a high level of care to more than 409,000 patients every year, but the fact is, it's an old building and is in need of redevelopment. Our patients and their loved ones deserve the very best from us, and this huge cash injection will allow us to continue the great job we're doing."

Paul Burstow, MP for Sutton and Cheam and Minister of State for Care Services, said: "The £219 million transformation of St Helier Hospital is the biggest investment into local healthcare for a generation. I, along with hundreds of local patients and residents, look forward to the demolition starting and clearing the way for the rebuild."

Tom Brake, MP for Carshalton and Wallington, said: "It is fantastic to see the redevelopment project moving forward.

"As we know, there is a lot of speculation about the future of key services at St Helier Hospital. Today's announcement, and the improvements it will allow, clearly shows that there's a real commitment to keeping St Helier a hospital to be proud of."

Siobhain McDonagh, MP for Mitcham and Morden, said: "I was at the hospital in 2010, when the initial plans were given the go-ahead by Government. Since then, I've watched as progress has developed - from the first surveys taking place to the unveiling of new designs. It's great to see more progress and I look forward to seeing the bulldozers arrive on site."

Tim Wilkins, the project director of the redevelopment, said: "This is fantastic news. Clearing and demolishing Ferguson House will create the site for our new building and is a vital first step in transforming the hospital."

The St Helier Hospital redevelopment plans include:

  • £127 million will be spent on a new state-of-the-art hospital building, which will house the majority of the hospital's wards and clinics;

  • The new building will have 346 beds, including 50 per cent in single rooms;

  • £40 million will be spent on upgrading the remainder of the hospital site, including operating theatres;

  • £17 million will be spent on opening a new local care centre, where people can receive diagnostic tests and x-rays. The centre will form part of the new building;

  • Opening a purpose-built outpatients department, centralised eye clinic and dedicated pharmacy;

  • Building a new multi-decked car park making it easier for patients, visitors and staff to park on the site. We will also make significant improvements to the hospital's entrances and exits.

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