Page last updated at 10:57 GMT, Friday, 12 June 2009 11:57 UK

Topping-out ceremony at hospital

Construction site of new hospital
Builders are completing the highest point of the new Pembury Hospital

A topping-out ceremony is being held at the building site of a new hospital in west Kent.

The highest point of the 512-bed Pembury Hospital, just outside Tunbridge Wells, is being completed on Friday afternoon.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said it was a significant milestone.

The hospital is a £225m Private Finance Initiative project that will have single rooms with en-suite bathrooms for all patients.

The rooms will have patient-controlled temperature systems, solar control glass windows, flat screen TVs and most will have views of the Kent countryside.

It is due to open to patients in January 2011.

Victorian workhouses

Trust chairman Tony Jones said: "Patient experience and safety is at the heart of this new building.

"What is being built will be the first NHS hospital where inpatients will be treated and looked after in their own bedroom with their own en-suite facilities.

"We believe that this will set the standard for the rest of the NHS."

The new hospital is being built on the site of the old Pembury Hospital alongside some of the old buildings, some of which are former Victorian workhouses dating from 1838.

On the old site, the maternity unit is more than a hundred years old, and many of the other buildings are more than 50 years old.


Hospital development director Graham Goddard said the hospital would improve patients' experience

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Work due to begin on new hospital
18 Mar 08 |  Kent
Government approval for hospital
27 Feb 07 |  Kent

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