Kier and the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, has held a virtual groundbreaking ceremony at Heartlands Hospital’s new Ambulatory Care and Diagnostics Centre (ACAD). The ceremony officially marks the start of works on site and attending alongside Kier and the NHS Trust, were attendees from the Department for Health and Social Care, including the Minister for Health, Edward Argar MP.

The event included a flythrough of the project and how it will look, video clips from the Heartlands medical and nursing staff, community lead and a patient – as well as staff involved in the ACAD. There were speeches by CEO and the Minister for Health.

This is an important milestone for the £97.1m project, which will include the construction of a new 18,000m² four-storey building that upon completion will provide a number of first-class facilities for the hospital, including 120 consultation rooms, 26 specialist audiology and ear nose and throat rooms, ultrasound and X-ray rooms, as well as CT and MRI scanners.

The new ACAD building is due to be completed in 2022 and once opened, it will care for half a million patients per year. The ACAD building has been designed to provide a modern, spacious environment purpose-built to meet the needs of patients, with dementia friendly and accessible design features.

Richard Charman, operations director at Kier Regional Building Central, said: “Heartlands Hospital is a key project for us in the region and we are pleased to commence our works on site. The team and Trust have worked collaboratively to get us to this point, and I look forward to that continuing as the project progresses.”

Minister for Health Edward Argar said: “The new centre at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust will be a huge asset to the local community, offering a wide range of outpatient, treatment and diagnostic services to meet the needs of nearly half a million patients a year.

“I’m proud this Government is investing £97.1 million in the project as part of our record investment in our NHS infrastructure and it was fantastic to be part of this important milestone as building works get underway. Since July last year we have invested £7.6 billion in new buildings, equipment, major upgrades and 40 new hospitals to improve the experience of patients, visitors and staff.”

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive, Dr David Rosser, said: “We thought a time capsule was a nice way to capture our memories right from when Heartlands was called Little Bromwich and was known as an infectious diseases hospital, to now so our future colleagues can see how much the hospital has changed and hopefully offering future generations a glimpse of what the hospital means to people in 2020. One of the ways we will be doing that is through ACAD.

“The new build will boost the Trust’s capacity to meet the evolving healthcare requirements of local people, with modern purpose-fit facilities to deliver the best possible care and high- quality specialist services. The start of construction of ACAD is a momentous occasion for staff and patients across Birmingham and Solihull and it is only fitting that the time capsule is buried in the grounds of the new build.”

Heartlands Hospital is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, and to mark the occasion staff, stakeholders and members of the community have contributed items for a time capsule which was buried in the grounds of ACAD.

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