A MILESTONE in the building of the new surgical centre at Musgrove Park Hospital was marked with a ‘topping out’ ceremony today (Friday, January 26).

Kay Collard, an assistant practitioner in the hospital's head and neck theatres, was given the honour of tightening the final bolt as the roof works were finalised – under the supervision of workers from Kier construction company.

Staff from the critical care unit, theatres and endoscopy were all given a tour of the building so they could see first hand where they’ll be working in the future.

The new £87million state-of-the-art surgical centre will replace the current hospital theatres and critical care unit, which were built during the Second World War as part of a temporary casualty evacuation hospital for the D-Day landings. It will also house a brand new endoscopy suite.

It will include:

  • Six endoscopy rooms, patient recovery and clinical support areas;
  • Eight operating theatres (including two state-of-the-art hybrid operating theatres that can be used for both surgery and interventional radiology), recovery areas and clinical support;
  • 22 critical care beds, all specified for level 2 and 3 critical care patients.

Dr Dan Meron, chief medical officer, said: “It has been great seeing our surgical centre rise up out of the ground over the last few months and we’re very much looking forward to being able to care for and treat patients in state-of-the-art operating theatres and critical care facilities.

“The quality of care provided to our patients is something we are very proud of, and we want to help people to stay as well as possible, but where people need specialist intervention, our new centre will be there to support them through surgery and intensive care.

“Our new surgical centre will also mean we can continue to phase out the use of our older 1940s buildings for patient care and treatment, which is an important step as they’re increasingly difficult to maintain.

“I know there has been a lot of noise and disruption and want to thank colleagues for all your incredible patience as our construction colleagues get the building ready for us to use.”

Much building work and service moves have taken place over the last few years in preparation for the new surgical centre, including a new sterile services centre, relocated superficial X-ray department, and main hospital kitchen move, among others.