Work has started on a massive extension which will transform Salford Royal Hospital into the region’s main hub for patients in urgent need.
Construction on the £68m James Potter building – named after the hospital’s recently retired chairman – began this week and will take until at least Summer 2023 to complete.
Once it is finished, it will make Salford the central facility for immediately treating patients who have suffered serious traumatic injuries, such as car crashes or life-changing falls.
The hospital will then be able to take in 90 percent of these patients from areas including Bolton and Wigan, and will even have a helicopter pad for air ambulances to use.
It means means that any high risk patients from these areas who require surgery or other urgent treatments will be brought directly to Salford for their care.
Raj Jain, CEO of the NHS trust that runs the hospital, the Northern Care Alliance, said: “We are delighted to be bringing these fantastic new facilities to our site for the benefit of patients across Greater Manchester.
“If you receive a major trauma injury and live in the Greater Manchester area or you live in Salford, Bolton and Wigan and require an emergency procedure for a serious abdominal injury or condition, then it’s likely you will be cared for at the James Potter Building.
“The facility will be purpose-built for the sickest patients – whom for many time is of the essence in relation to their care and treatment.”
Features of the new building will include a resuscitation area, five emergency theatres, more inpatient beds, diagnostic imaging, and the helipad.
The building has been designed by architects working alongside the hospital in the hope that every detail is useful, for example extra large lifts have been planned to accommodate those patients that are being moved around the building on beds alongside numerous pieces of life-saving equipment and with a full team of doctors beside them.
Dr Sheila Tose, Consultant Neuroanaesthetis and clinical lead for major trauma in Salford, said:“As one of the clinicians who will have the privilege of working in this building and treating patients here, I am really excited to see building work start.
“Whilst the building will be impressive in appearance, it’s important to say that what will be inside the building is just as amazing.
“This building will be home to the UK’s first hybrid trauma theatre for patients who have multiple serious injuries.
“This means that in one place, clinicians will be able to work on and treat someone who has, for example, internal bleeding and also requires surgery for a head injury. Previously they would have to be addressed separately.”
Construction on the project is being completed by building giant BAM and m anager Rob Bailey joined Mr Jain and Dr Tose to see work at the site begin.
He added: “ Our team are buzzing with the excitement of creating these new facilities right in the heart of our own city.
“It is always special when you get the chance to shape the places you live in, work in, learn in and recover in.
“There’s no more special or important place than a hospital and we’re so pleased to be working with our friends in the NHS who are savings lives each day in such extraordinary circumstances.
“Every day we are helping them is a good one.”
The project is part of the government’s Health Infrastructure Plan, which Boris Johnson said would lead to the construction of 48 new hospitals by 2030.
Although the construction at Salford Royal is an extension of the current facilities rather than an entirely new hospital.