Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is celebrating being given the green light to start preliminary works on its new £650m hospitals – by lighting up a huge banner promoting the development.
The banner, attached to the side of the Old Nurse’s Home on the Leeds General Infirmary site, marks the start of preparation works for the building of new adult and children’s hospitals following the granting of outline planning permission by Leeds City Council.
The Government last year approved funding for the Trust to build two new hospitals at Leeds General Infirmary – a modern adults hospital with new day-case theatres and critical care facilities, and a new purpose-built children’s hospital, a first for Leeds.
The first stage of the development will be preliminary works which will start soon in readiness for the demolition of the Old Nurse’s Home later this year.
The Trust will also be engaging with staff, patients, families and others to help inform a Design Brief for the new hospitals.
The design brief will cover a range of areas including the environment around the hospitals, the specific clinical requirements of each service and the plans for digital and new technologies which will be a major feature of the new hospitals.
Young patients have already been offering some of their own drawings of what they think the children’s hospital should look like which have been displayed in the outpatients’ area.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust Chief Executive, Julian Hartley, said the granting of outline planning permission gave the Trust the “green light” to start early preparation works.
“We’re delighted that we can now begin preparing the site for the first stages of this historic development that will benefit patient care in Leeds and the wider region,” he said. “These will be state-of-the-art patient-centred hospitals – and we’ll be engaging with them closely along the way.
“I’m pleased that some of our young patients are already getting into the spirit by coming up with ideas on the kind of hospital they would like to see, using their imagination through their own drawings.”
The Trust’s chair, Linda Pollard, said the new hospitals were an ambitious long-term commitment to improving healthcare in Leeds.
“The unveiling of the banner is a visible first step towards our plan to create a regional specialist centre to provide the best healthcare for the people of Leeds, West Yorkshire and beyond,” she said. “It will also bring about the exciting regeneration of the city centre through an Innovation District that brings together new jobs and expertise.”
The plan for 2020 is to draw up a design brief for the new hospitals and to prepare the LGI site for future building works which will include diverting utilities and demolishing some unused buildings and ensuring everything is in place to appoint specialist designers and contractors.