Ceremony marks 'topping out' for new theatre building at Poole Hospital

·3-min read
Ceremony marks 'topping out' of new operating theatre building at Poole Hospital. Picture: Millard Photography
Ceremony marks 'topping out' of new operating theatre building at Poole Hospital. Picture: Millard Photography

AN OFFICIAL ceremony has marked the ‘topping out’ of a brand-new operating theatre building at Poole Hospital – described as an “important milestone” for healthcare in Dorset.

Five storeys up and with the sunny views of Poole Harbour on the horizon, more than 50 people celebrated the end of major construction for Dorset’s latest hospital facility which will house eight new theatres with an aim to increase treatment speed and reduce backlog.

“This is an important milestone in bringing this cutting-edge facility a step closer for the people of Dorset,” said University Hospital Dorset’s chief strategy officer Richard Renaut while welcoming guests to the £187m building.

The new tower has been built as an extension to Poole Hospital and will incorporate a four-table ‘barn’ theatre, which means the main surgical area has an open-plan with each patient treated in a dedicated space.

Bournemouth Echo: New operating theatre building at Poole Hospital. Picture: Millard Photography
Bournemouth Echo: New operating theatre building at Poole Hospital. Picture: Millard Photography

New operating theatre building at Poole Hospital. Picture: Millard Photography

According to UHD’s medical director for surgery Robert Howell, this “exciting” space will help “keep team morale and efficiency at a far greater level and massively help patient flow”.

He also said new anaesthetists are currently being trained to take up roles within the site.

Scottish led contractor Integrated Health Projects (IHP) kept tradition by having a bagpiper lead the congregation to the roof of the new building for the ceremony.

Once there, Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell smoothed the gravel for the last cement slabs and Angelo Masone from IHP nailed a bough to a ‘tree’ at the highest point of the building.

Also in attendance was Minister for Health Edward Argar MP who spoke to the Echo after unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion.

He said: “It’s a significant investment, just shy of £200m from government, and when it is fully operational we’ll have the capacity to deliver around 21,000 more planned procedures than present – that’s hugely important.

“It’s important in terms of tackling that waiting list backlog that Covid has generated but also in terms of the wider scheme which will see Poole focused on planned surgical procedures and Bournemouth as the emergency department site.”

Bournemouth Echo: Minister for Health Edward Argar MP at ceremony for new Poole Hospital building. Picture: Millard Photography
Bournemouth Echo: Minister for Health Edward Argar MP at ceremony for new Poole Hospital building. Picture: Millard Photography

Minister for Health Edward Argar MP at ceremony for new Poole Hospital building. Picture: Millard Photography

Mr Agar also said the new building is “one of the first tangible” examples of plans to improve healthcare in Dorset.

Regarding NHS staff, the MP for Charnwood added: “While we can build new buildings, get new kit and technology, the people that really make the magic happen are the staff.

“We have asked the pay review bodies to look into what is the right recommendation for a pay increase for NHS staff this year, we haven’t yet had their feedback but will consider it very carefully when it comes.”

The new building is set to be open and operational in May 2023.

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