On Air Now
Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp 6am - 10am
An £18.6m community health campus in Portsmouth is opening its doors to its first patients today.
The new facilities on part of the St Mary's Hospital site at Milton mark the culmination of a major two-year refurbishment project by NHS Portsmouth, the city's primary care trust.
Debbie Tarrant, the PCT's project director, said: "These are really exciting times for the project.
"A huge amount of thought and planning has gone into providing what we hope people will welcome as the most modern health facilities in the heart of Portsmouth.
"Although we have had to work with an existing building, it's like a new build when you step inside. The staff who will be based there and have already visited the site have been really impressed. This is going to be a fantastic new health facility for the community.
"Indeed underpinning our whole philosophy is to provide a model of care which will prevent many patients having to be admitted to the acute setting at Queen Alexandra, easing some of the pressure there.
"This will be achieved by offering comprehensive assessment facilities, either on a day or out-patient basis, supported with community care packages."
Most of the building work centred around redeveloping the former maternity and paediatric blocks which became vacant after the Portsmouth Hospitals Trust (PHT), which previously ran the site, transferred its services to Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Since the contractors finished on site a few weeks ago, work has continued 'behind the scenes' to install furniture, fittings and a range of hospital equipment from beds to kitchen utensils.
Key features in health campus include:
* For In-Patients" a four-bed midwife-led birth centre" an intermediate care ward with up to 16 beds
* For day care" an elderly assessment and treatment centre
* For Out-Patients" podiatry clinic" speech and language therapy" blood tests (phlebotomy)" physiotherapy department" community mental health team" sexual health services
* Clinical Support Departments" pharmacy
* Support Services" League of Friends shop and tea bar" restaurant