The first of the new, state of the art clinical buildings at the Royal Sussex County Hospital will be open to patients within 12 months, transforming the hospital experience for hundreds of thousands of patients and visitors every year.
Members of the public are getting their first full look at the multi-million pound redevelopment this week as the hoardings along the front of the site are taken down and replaced with wire fencing. Stage 1 of the 3Ts redevelopment is the first and largest of the 3 stage programme that will take the front half of the hospital from the 19th to 21st century. Stage 1 will have major new facilities for more than 30 wards and departments, new diagnostic and theatre capacity as well as increased capacity for the departments with high demand, including, Neurosciences, Stroke Services and Intensive Care.
The ground floor of the Stage 1 Building, which is being revealed this week, will house the hospital’s new main entrance and Welcome Space which will make it easier for people to get around the site. It will bring together routes to the rest of the hospital, spacious waiting areas, a new hospital shop and access to an underground car park giving dedicated patient and visitor parking directly beneath the new building.
The lower levels of Stage 1 will be focused on outpatient services with the upper levels dedicated to wards. The wards benefitting from a new home include all those in the Barry Building, the oldest acute ward building in the NHS. It took its first patient in 1828, twenty years before Florence Nightingale started nursing.
Rebecca Barnes, ward manager for Chichester ward in the Barry Building said, “We simply can’t wait to get into the new building. I’ve got a brilliant team and the way they care for patients is amazing to see. They manage this despite the age and limitations of this building. It was built before x-rays were discovered and there is not enough space to store much of the modern equipment we require. Patient privacy and dignity is a constant consideration for us but this aspect of care is made more challenging by the layout and restrictions of the old building. In our new ward we will have 5 times as much space per patient and ample storage for the equipment modern healthcare requires. Looking after patients in a ward that helps with our work will be like a breath of fresh air for everyone.”
Stage 1 of the redevelopment will provide spacious, well-resourced and modern facilities. The 11 storey building will offer patients, visitors and staff a hospital environment they can be proud of and one that will be fit to provide healthcare care for decades to come. The design of the redevelopment reflects the best principles of our Patient First improvement system by bringing the voices of the people who know the services the best, staff and patients, into planning the new building. Simon Maurice, Divisional Director of Operations for the 3Ts Redevelopment said:
“Patient experience and care is at the heart of the design for Stage 1. Staff from every department moving into the building have had a hand in designing their areas. We have used traditional plans and virtual reality to help them understand how their new departments will work and to plan how they will care for patients in them. Patients have taken the time to review ideas and plans with us and together with staff have influenced the design of hundreds of aspects of the building, from the layout of the changing rooms in outpatient departments to the positioning of medicine and linen rooms on wards. This has given us the ideal combination of facilities that prioritise patient experience and the most efficient ways to deliver care. This will be of benefit to every patient coming to the new building, and to staff by supporting them in their work. From the Stroke Unit at the top of Stage 1 to the Discharge Lounge on its ground floor, patients will experience the best a modern hospital building can offer.”
Patients, staff and members of the public are being given a further chance to have a say in the new building by sharing their thoughts on what shopping and food options they would like in Stage 1. An online questionnaire is available on the hospital redevelopment page on our website and is open to all.
The Stage 1 Building is due for completion towards the end of the year and will then be handed over to University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust. Following a commissioning period, patients will start moving in during the early spring of 2023.