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5th Jul, 2022

Birmingham Children's and Women's Hospitals £442m Big Build plan revealed

Sarah Mason 27th Oct, 2020 Updated: 29th Oct, 2020

PLANS to build new children’s and women’s hospitals in Birmingham have been revealed.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital in the city centre and Birmingham Women’s Hospital in Edgbaston are “well beyond their operational life”, bosses said.

The £442million plan would see two new blocks built on the same sites by 2025, subject to funding approval.

Parts of the children’s hospital are more than 120 years old and the women’s hospital is more than 50 years old.

The project, called The Big Build, would see vacant buildings demolished including the former dental hospital to make way for the new generation facilities, while existing facilities would undergo a massive revamp and refurbishment.

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust say its ‘make do and mend’ approach and the growing maintenance bill makes an investment crucial for the future of its services.

The programme would create more operating theatres, inpatient beds, new diagnostics and imaging technologies, a new home for the Trust’s Paediatric Emergency Department and more birthing rooms.

Plans to fund the estimated costs include a combination of money generated from the sale of vacated land at the Steelhouse Lane site in the city centre, supported by national funding and fundraising support through the Trust’s Charity.

David Melbourne, the acting chief executive of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust which is behind the plans, said doing nothing was not an option.

He said: “We are proud of the amazing care our colleagues provide on a daily basis but they do that in an estate that is well beyond its operational life.

“Our children and young persons services are being delivered on a site opened in 1897 and our Women’s Hospital is more than 50 years old.

“Our teams have done a great job in recent years with a make do and mend approach but the cost of that in terms of annual maintenance is growing and is not sustainable. These buildings are well past their natural life and are not suitable to providing the spaces and facilities we need for modern care.

“Our Big Build proposal will provide value for money and unlock huge potential for the development of our existing and new services; opening the door to a new wave of research and innovation tapping into the many world class individuals we are lucky to call colleagues.”

Work will now begin on a detailed Outline Business Case with partners across the Birmingham and Solihull health economy, a wide variety of health professionals, patients and the public to help shape the details of the proposals.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, the Trust’s chairman said: “The Children’s Hospital is now 123 years old, the infrastructure is crumbling, the wards are cramped and the Victorian architecture, while beautiful from the outside, is simply not fit for the practice of current complex medicine, let alone fit for a future of increasing complexity.

“Similarly, the Women’s Hospital is struggling to function at 30 per cent above the capacity for which it was designed 60 years ago.

“Despite the outdated estate our clinicians continue to provide essential regional and national highly specialist services and conduct leading edge research. This is simply unsustainable in the current set of buildings given the very real implications of evolving medical science and technology for advanced diagnostics and medical therapies.”

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