The construction of a new theatre building at Poole Hospital reached a significant milestone recently with the celebration of a traditional ‘topping-out’ ceremony.
The event, attended by staff from University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, and local dignitaries, was hosted by main contractor, Integrated Health Projects (IHP), an alliance between VINCI Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine.
A bagpiper led the guests to the top level of the building where a pouring of stone took place to ceremonially complete the roof and an evergreen bough was nailed to the structure – a tradition which dates back to Roman times to protect buildings from evil spirits.
This was followed by the symbolic exchange of a tankard ‘for a job well done’.
The new theatre building is an extension to the existing facility and comprises a new purpose-built five-storey tower.
It incorporates a four-table ‘barn’ theatre where the main surgical area is large and open-plan, with each patient treated in a dedicated space with an ultra-clean air canopy over each station.
Future consolidation of planned care on the Poole Hospital site will provide rapid treatment of elective operations without the disruption or delay that can occur from high volumes of emergency cases having to take precedence.
topping-out ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate the exemplar collaboration and technical excellence demonstrated by the project team and hospital staff
And thousands of patients each year will benefit from shorter waiting times as a result of the greater efficiencies associated with establishing a planned care hospital.
Ian Cheung, managing director for the South at Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “This topping-out ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate the exemplar collaboration and technical excellence demonstrated by the project team and hospital staff.
“IHP is proud to work with the trust on this state-of-the-art healthcare facility and we look forward to delivering the new theatre building, which will greatly benefit patients across the region.”
Richard Renaut, the trust’s chief strategy and transformation officer, added: “Having modern buildings, and extensive refurbishments, means better care.
“Despite the many challenges the NHS faces today, we celebrate today the long-term investment that will help transform health services in Dorset.”
The unit will open next year and by 2025 Poole Hospital will be transformed into the major planned care hospital for Dorset, able to offer high-quality elective care.