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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Benchmark hospital plans unveiled
Computer image of the new Pembury Hospital
The new Pembury Hospital will be in a "woodland clearing"
Final designs for a hospital which its architect says will set new standards for NHS facilities have been unveiled.

The 512-bed Pembury Hospital in Kent, due to open by 2011, is said to be the first in the NHS which will give every patient their own en-suite bedroom.

"It is a benchmark which will set the scene nationally for hospital design," said spokesman Darren Yates.

The hospital at Pembury, near Tunbridge Wells, will replace both the existing Pembury and Kent and Sussex hospitals.

Building is due to start early next year if detailed planning approval is given for the 226m private-finance scheme.

Ancient landscape

The hospital also has safety features such as bedrooms with the en-suite door on the same wall as the bed so patients do not risk slips, trips and falls crossing an open floor.

"This hospital is going to be developed in a clearing in the woods, which is healing and therapeutic," said lead architect John Cooper.

"It is a very ancient landscape and over the next 10 to 15 years we are going to strip out all the commercial planting and return it to wooded heathland, which it would have been 200 years ago.

"But the most important thing about this hospital is that it is the first major NHS hospital where you won't have to share a bedroom.

"This is so important for reducing hospital infections, which has become such a major issue."


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