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Approval for new hospital complex at Paddington welcomed by NHS trusts and Imperial College

For Immediate Use
8 October 2001

Issued jointly by the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, St Marys NHS Trust and Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

Secretary of State Alan Milburns decision to approve the £360 million Paddington Health Complex, with two brand new hospitals on the Paddington Basin St Marys and the Royal Brompton and Harefield, working together with Imperial College London has been warmly welcomed by the two Trusts which run the services now, and by Imperial College, which trains the doctors who work there.

The Paddington Basin scheme brings together three world class hospitals onto one site. It combines the strengths of St Marys, a busy local and national teaching hospital with the Royal Brompton, a specialist national referral centre for heart and lung disease and Harefield, world famous for its cardiac surgery and transplantation.

Chief Executive of Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust Mark Taylor said: This is excellent news for heart and lung patients and for the development of research into heart disease. The new hospital will significantly increase the number of heart operations our teams can carry out and by bringing the Harefield team together with the Royal Brompton team on one new, purpose-designed hospital site we will be able to create the most advanced heart and lung centre in Europe, side by side with the new St Marys.

We have the time to get this right both in Paddington and at Harefield, where we will be moving the emphasis from hospital care to research. Sir Magdi Yacoubs pioneering Heart Science Centre at Harefield where a second phase is in building now - will continue to drive forward research into the causes of heart disease under his leadership, and we are very hopeful that a science park will be developed around the Centre. That would enable scientists and leading edge companies to work together with our doctors and Imperial College researchers to make a real difference for heart patients everywhere. It would also bring continued prestige and opportunity to the community of Harefield.

Julian Nettel, Chief Executive of St Marys NHS Trust, said: We are delighted that we can now see a great future for our hospital on its new site in the Paddington Basin development, next to the new Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital. Some of our existing wards were built in the century before last and our patients deserve 21st century care.

We have some of the leading teams in medical and surgical care at St Marys and this decision will give them a real boost and the opportunity to work alongside their colleagues from Imperial College in a new state-of-the-art medical school. We also believe it will help in our ongoing efforts to recruit and retain staff.

Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, said: We greatly welcome this announcement and look forward to working with our partners in the NHS to realise Paddington Basins potential.

Now the decision has been approved work will begin in earnest on the design and construction of the two new hospitals, which are expected to be open in 2007.

Further information from Jonathan Street on 020 7761 1899

Notes for Editors

1. Under the plans given the go-ahead today, St Marys, already one of Londons leading teaching hospitals, will be developed with a brand new wing to sit alongside the existing Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Wing.

2. It will become home to West Londons specialist paediatric service, expanding its current expertise in caring for very sick children, and include a pioneering Ambulatory Care and Diagnostic Unit (ACAD), to serve the ever growing number of people able to have their surgery and return home on the same day and provide a swifter assessment service.

3. Its cutting edge clinical and research activity in immunology, virology and respiratory medicine will be further boosted by shared plans with Imperial College.

4. The Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital will combine the teams of the two existing hospitals and expand the workload in medicine and surgery for patients with heart and lung disease.