Bristol's £430m Southmead Hospital completed

Atrium of the new building
Image caption "We set ourselves a very high design vision," said project manager Trisha Down

The keys to the new Bristol's £430m Southmead Hospital have been handed over to the North Bristol NHS Trust.

The trust will spend the next six weeks on the task of stocking the Brunel building.

The first patients will move in in May and the hospital will be fully open and operational by the end of that month.

Andrea Young, chief executive of North Bristol NHS Trust, said the handing over of the hospital was the "pinnacle of 10 years of hard work".

"This is a landmark day for the patients who use our services.

"For them this is the really important day, because the hospital belongs to the people who use it," she said.

Image caption Central to the design of the hospital is a "clinical corridor" which enables patients to be moved around the hospital without entering public areas

The Brunel building will have single rooms, en-suite facilities and a route through the hospital which means patients do not have to be taken through public areas before or after operations.

The major trauma centre, accident and emergency, neurosciences, plastics and adult burns units will move from Frenchay Hospital to Southmead.

Juliette Hughes, matron of the new accident and emergency unit said: "We've been planning it for so many years now it feels really exciting now it's going to be a reality.

"The challenge is making sure the public know what is happening and that they can access our services seamlessly.

"It will be the same team, the same excellent care just in a nicer environment."

Specialist children's services based at Frenchay Hospital will move to the Bristol Children's Hospital as part of long-term plans to centralise services in the city.

Image caption Juliette Hughes, matron of the new accident and emergency unit, said the move was "really exciting"
Image caption The building is designed in coloured coded blocks to enabled patients and visitors to find their way round

Planning for the hospital involved many people from the start of the project in 2005.

Project manager Trisha Down said the first thing they did was look at other hospitals and organisations and see what they did successfully.

"We learnt as much from the spaces we didn't feel were as good as the ones that worked really well.

"We took all of that learning and put it into the specifications for this hospital," she said.

Image caption Each of the 24 operating theatres is bigger than any theatre in the old hospitals
Image caption The new Brunel building is phase one of the re-build. Phase two involves demolishing some of the old hospital buildings and creating a new multi-storey car park

Clinical matron Kenny Gale said the new building would be make a huge difference to his team.

"I don't think the staff will fully realise how much we have had to make do and cope and struggle to deliver care in the old building until they move into this state-of-the-art building," he said.

Consultant Seema Srivastava said: "For the first time ever my team will all be in the same building.

"Presently we're on two sites and the time we save travelling between the two sites we can now spend giving excellent quality care."

Image caption Design and art work are an integral part of the vision of the new Southmead Hospital

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