Building work on the new Victoria Hospital officially got underway today after Andy Kerr, the Minister for Health and Community Care, cut the first sod of turf for the landmark new development. The latest computer generated images of the new hospital were also unveiled at the event.
The £100m state-of-the-art new Victoria will be one of the largest hospitals in Scotland and is expected to treat around 400,000 patients each year when it opens in 2009.
Health Minister Andy Kerr Said: "I am honoured to officially mark the beginning of construction for this impressive new facility which will bring state-of-the-art healthcare to the local community.
"A wide range of specialties including ENT surgery, gynaecology, urology, plastic surgery as well as outpatient clinics and diagnostic services are planned for the New Victoria Hospital.It will also deliver chemotherapy and renal dialysis for the first time in the South of the city.
"It is without doubt that this development marks a significant step forward in the modernisation of the NHS in Glasgow and across Scotland. The new Victoria Hospital will be one of the most modern and well equipped hospitals in the country and will be a model for future hospital planning."
The new hospital will have 12 short stay surgical beds, to allow even more patients to have surgery locally and 48 rehabilitation beds, as a first step towards replacing services currently provided within the Mansionhouse Unit. It will also provide local access to MRI scans so patients from South East Glasgow don't need to travel to the Southern General Hospital for this investigation.
Robert Calderwood, Chief Operating Officer for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's Acute Division said: "The development of this new hospital will signal a new era in patient care and comfort. It will be equipped with state-of-the-art imaging machines and day surgery theatres. Modern consulting rooms, airy waiting areas and a secure underground car park will also create an attractive and welcoming environment, totally changing the patient experience for the better."
He added: "This isn't, however, just about a new building, but about providing world class health services and facilities for local people in the heart of the South Side, including several key services that they currently have to travel elsewhere to receive."
Bob Clark, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty, the main contractor for the new hospital, said: "We are delighted to have reached this landmark stage and look forward to seeing the innovative design plans become a reality as this new of state-of-art new hospital takes shape over the next two years. "
When work is completed, the new hospital, which will be built on a site directly across the road from the existing hospital, will cover an impressive three floors in an area of more than 30,000 square metres.
Douglas Roxburgh, Director at HLM Architects, said: "The design is based on the concept of a 'hospital in the park'. creating a high amenity, therapeutic environment for patients and staff, which will assist with recovery. Set in mature landscape, the architecture is sensitive to its Victoria surroundings and we have selected materials that create a reassuring and non-institutional healthcare enviroment."
The development of the new Victoria hospital is at the heart of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's ambitious plans to modernise healthcare facilities across the city. It represents a significant investment in NHS services and will also provide a major boost to the local economy with hundreds of new construction jobs created during the build period.
Photographs of the sod-cutting ceremony and the latest computer generated images of the new Victoria Hospital are available from the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde press office on 0141 201 4429.
Some of the services the new Victoria Hospital will provide include:
Speech and Language Therapy
Ear, Nose and Throat