Frimley Park Hospital is set to be replaced with a cutting-edge facility as part of the government’s New Hospital programme.
The project has received national funding approval, paving the way for an “ultra-modern” healthcare facility aimed at revolutionising patient care and outcomes.
Notable features of the state-of-the-art facility include:
- A significantly increased proportion of single en-suite rooms and more beds in a much-improved environment to better meet the needs of the local population.
- Improved and extended facilities that will enable more patients to be diagnosed and treated in the same visit.
- More state-of-the-art operating theatres to treat more patients .
- Smart use of the latest digital technology and IT infrastructure to greatly improve the experience of patients and staff.
- A host of environmental benefits including improved energy efficiency and sustainability.
- The latest designs and best practice for infection control.
- Carefully considered co-location of services within the building which will greatly improve patient and visitor movement, and group staff together to enable better clinical outcomes and team working.
- Exciting opportunities to increase the integration of primary and community care with hospital and secondary care across the wider Frimley Health system to better serve patients.
Neil Dardis, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have got the go ahead for this once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve healthcare for the communities we serve. This much-needed new hospital will provide the modern and efficient environment our patients and staff deserve. We plan to take the opportunity of the New Hospital Programme funding to develop the best healthcare facility in the country.
“Our ambition is to provide the highest quality urgent, planned and specialised care in the most modern environment, as well as deliver first class community care. We will ensure that all these services are delivered from a hospital incorporating the very latest sustainability and environmental initiatives and cutting-edge digital technology. We are so excited to be leading this initiative that will transform the future of healthcare for people in and around Frimley.”
Why does Frimley Park Hospital need to be replaced?
Frimley Park Hospital is a 47-year-old hospital which is deteriorating because it was built using reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in the 1970s as part of the government’s Best Buy hospital programme. RAAC has been found to be susceptible to deterioration over time and therefore represents potential health and safety risks to patients, staff and visitors. Considerable costly surveillance and maintenance works are required to ensure safety.
While the risk is being actively managed, NHS England (NHSE) requires the hospital to eliminate all the RAAC. There are around 7,000 RAAC planks in the hospital’s roof and walls including the core area where key facilities – theatres, intensive care, hospital streets and wards – are located.
Frimley Park says the need to address the "inescapable challenges caused by the RAAC allows us to take the opportunity to provide a new hospital with significant improvement to the built environment in which we treat our patients".
Due to the safety imperative to rebuild the hospital, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, has already developed a strategic outline business case that has evaluated the options and identified a ‘preferred way forward’ of a new hospital on a new (yet to be identified) site that can deliver improved patient care and experience and meet the future health and care needs of the local and wider population.
The new hospital will enable the trust to safeguard the continuity of essential services for the circa-500,000 local population in the hospital catchment area as well as its regional heart attack centre offering emergency intervention to patients, and specialist renal, cystic fibrosis, hyper-acute stroke, vascular and spinal services provided to population of 900,000 within and beyond the wider Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System area.
The trust’s clinical teams and advisers have recommended that a new site should be found for the new hospital to avoid the significant disruption to patients, services and staff that would be inevitable if an attempt was made to redevelop the current site. This would require a phased demolition and rebuild over many years on a site which is already overly congested.
A range of opportunities will therefore be created for patients, staff, the local community and other stakeholders to be involved and engaged in all stages of the new hospital development.
The trust’s new hospital bid was supported by Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System whose chief executive, Fiona Edwards, said: “Replacing Frimley Park Hospital, with its deteriorating concrete, is a key priority for our integrated care board and will help support our ambitions to create healthier communities.
"I look forward to working with the trust to maximise the wider opportunities to increase the integration of secondary, primary and community care, in particular through therapeutic and rehabilitation services, so we can also deliver more care closer to home, see faster patient recovery and therefore earlier patient discharge.”
Neil Dardis added: “These are exciting times for our teams and everyone in our local community and we look forward to engaging with our patients, staff and all our stakeholders as we develop our plans for the Frimley Park Hospital of the future.”
The new hospital will still be subject to the normal NHS business case process.