The City of London’s first independent hospital has reached a significant construction milestone marking progress on the build of Nuffield Health at St Bartholomew’s.

Nuffield Health CEO Steve Gray and Kier Project Manager Peter McStay marked the halfway point of the build by placing the first Portland stone slab which will make up the rear façade of the historic building in Giltspur Street near Smithfield Market.

When it opens in spring 2021 the City’s very first independent hospital will feature 48 bedrooms, four state-of-the-art operating theatres and 28 consultation rooms, and will specialise in cardiology, cardiac surgery, oncology and orthopaedics, and other surgical and medical specialties. The £65million building will also provide physiotherapy and diagnostics, and will complement Nuffield Health’s 35 consumer fitness and wellbeing clubs, 63 on-site corporate gyms and 150 GPs in its catchment area, which will refer patients to the new hospital.

Nuffield Health has partnered with Barts Health NHS Trust, leasing the former pathology and residential staff quarters buildings, to give patients access to some of the most experienced and skilled consultants in the world, supported by cutting-edge technology in comfortable, welcoming surroundings providing access to a wealth of great resources.

Since works began, archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) have examined the historic site in detail and preparatory works have been undertaken. The former pathology building, made famous as the launch pad for the feigned suicide leap by the eponymous detective played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC’s Sherlock series, has been demolished with the exception of the façade, which has been retained.

The matching Portland stone being used to build the new facades was selected to reflect the historic importance of the site and its surroundings; it is essentially the same stone used by James Gibbs in 1738-69 to construct the adjacent Grade 1 Listed St Bartholomew’s Square, and by Sir Christopher Wren before that in many of his famous London churches.

Reviving the two buildings to create state-of-the-art 21st century medical facilities, whilst retaining the grand facade of the pathology building and working on a site constrained by other historic buildings which make up the hospital founded in 1123, is a complex engineering project but the construction remains on schedule.

Peter McStay said: “This project is vital to the City of London and I’m pleased we have reached this major milestone in the construction of the building, taking us one step closer to delivering modern, efficient and patient-focused healthcare facilities.”

Steve Gray said: “I’m pleased to mark this construction milestone today but also to see the solid progress towards opening the City’s first independent hospital in 2021.

“St Bartholomew’s has such rich history, having been responsible for numerous medical breakthroughs since it began in 1123, and we are delighted to ensure these two redundant buildings will once again be centres of quality healthcare as St Bartholomew’s celebrates its 900th anniversary in a few years.”

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