A nationally-renowned hospital in Stanmore has secured the first chunk of funding as part of a major £81 million redevelopment plans.
The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH), in Brockley Hill, are planning on replacing the current, ageing buildings with new facilities after the Department of Health signed off £49.9 million funding for the project on Tuesday.
This will go towards building a new inpatient ward block and also potentially sets up another £31 million to be provided to construct an academic centre and biomedical engineering hub, taking the overall investment to £81 million.
Work will now start this month, starting with demolishing the patient centre to make way for the new hospital, with the new inpatient wards set to be finished by 2018.
The project is being funded mainly from a land sales receipt when the land on the west of the site is sold for a residential development. In addition, a number of short and long term loans have been taken out.
The inpatient ward building will have a new children and young people's ward, including 27 beds with embedded therapy and education functions and an external play area to replace the current paediatric ward beds.
In addition, there will be adult acute wards with 64 beds over two floors, with embedded therapies to replace several of the current outdated adult wards.
A new main entrance will be built providing reception and waiting space plus a retail outlet and coffee shop.
There will also be a children’s activity centre within the foyer which will be fitted out with a range of toys, games and interactive technological equipment for our paediatric patients and families, funded from a donation of £500,000 specifically for this purpose.
Rob Hurd, chief executive of the RNOH, said: “The new ward block is the first step in an exciting future for the RNOH and builds upon an impeccable legacy of innovation in orthopaedics.
"The Stanmore name is known around the world for pioneering many of the now standard procedures and we are setting the gold standard for clinical outcomes.
"The support and enthusiasm shown by the staff, patients and supporters – both past and present – has brought us here and I want to say, on behalf of the RNOH, thank you.
"Without them, we could not have done it. We intend to be here for another 100 years, putting patients first, always."
Later on this year, building works will also start for the £25 million UCL / RNOH Biomedical Engineering hub, which will add facilities to develop and test new medical devices to improve patient wellbeing.
Bob Blackman MP for Harrow East said: “It has been a long journey for everyone involved and I know this will come as a great relief to all of the incredible staff who have been providing a world class service in substandard buildings for far too long.
"I have worked for many years to support this outstanding facility and to keep its vital need for redevelopment at the top of the agenda.
"I am extremely pleased that construction will finally be able to begin and look forward to seeing the results.”
In 2010 Health Secretary Andy Burnham announced £81m will be invested in rebuilding the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, bringing to an end a 46-year battle to keep the specialist facility open.
Patients, doctors, and health trust bosses have been lobbying the government for years, demanding the hospital, which is currently a network of ageing and decaying buildings some pre-dating the NHS itself, is rebuild so facilities match the standard of care.