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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 June, 2005, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
New 'super hospital' opens doors
The new University College Hospital
The hospital replaces the Middlesex and University College hospitals
London's new 420m "super hospital", one of the biggest in the UK, opens to its first patients this weekend.

The new University College Hospital on the Euston Road is one of the NHS's biggest Private Finance Initiatives.

The 18-floor teaching hospital has 700 beds and boasts one of Europe's biggest intensive care units.

It is also designed to reduce the spread of infection with more hygiene points, widely-spaced beds and an antibacterial finish on surfaces.

About 5,000 UK patients a year die as a result of hospital-acquired infections.

Touch screen for patients
Features include PCs on each bed, which can be used to watch TV

But the new University College Hospital (UCH) says it has consulted its infection control team at every step to reduce the risk of "cross-infection".

Its beds are placed further apart, and the ventilation throughout the hospital is designed to be good enough for an isolation ward.

And there are more sinks which are designed to make it impossible to reach patients without passing one.

Consultant microbiologist Peter Wilson added: "The best way to avoid cross-infection is by making thorough cleaning easy."

The fact that we built such a large new teaching hospital in the centre of London, on time and on budget...is good news for future hospital developments
Robert Naylor
UCLH NHS Trust chief executive

The hospital includes one of Europe's biggest intensive care units as well as cancer treatment, paediatrics, an infectious diseases ward, gynaecology, elderly care, and accident and emergency.

About 70m has also been spent on transferring paper medical notes, case notes, test results, letters and appointments onto one computer-based patient record system.

Each bed has its own PC, which can also be used to watch television.

And hospital bosses say both patients and staff will benefit from having all the medical teams under one roof - it replaces the existing Middlesex and University College hospitals.

Robert Naylor, chief executive of UCLH NHS Trust told BBC London: "The fact that we built such a comprehensive large new teaching hospital in the centre of London, and built it on time and on budget, means this is good news for future hospital developments, both in London and across the UK."

Super hospital given go-ahead
14 Jul 00 |  Health

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