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Media Release

Date: 4 July 2018

Topping out ceremony marks milestone at the Royal United Hospital, Bath

It was a historic day at the Royal United Hospital, Bath on Wednesday 4 July as the final concrete was laid on the roof, topping out the structure of new RNHRD and Therapies Centre.

The ceremony, a builders' tradition to mark the highest point of the new building, saw benefactor Christina Brownsword and other donors join staff from Kier Construction and RUH staff to celebrate the important milestone.

The final concrete was laid by Christina Brownsword, who together with her husband has pledged up to £1m to match every pound donated to The Forever Friends Appeal's Therapies Matter campaign. At the ceremony she said:

"It is a great privilege to have the symbolic task of finishing the roof. My family and I are delighted to be supporting this important project which will benefit so many people in our local community. We hope our gift of £1m towards the Centre will provide the best care for patients, and will encourage others who are in a position to give to support this wonderful hospital too."

Due to open next year, the RNHRD and Therapies Centre will house many of the services currently located at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) and in the RUH, namely rheumatology, therapies and pain management services.

Also present at the ceremony was Alan White, from Kingsdown whose sister who sadly passed away in 2016 and left a generous legacy towards the building of the new Therapies Centre. Mr White said:

"My sister, Lynne was a long term patient at the RNHRD and the RUH and was treated for her chronic pain condition. Sadly she passed aged 62, but she would be delighted to know that we have reached this important stage in creating this new centre which will treat many patients in the future."

James Scott, Chief Executive, RUH said:

"What started six months ago has now taken shape. It's truly remarkable how much of the building works has been accomplished. This building will have a major impact on the services the hospital provides to some 25,000 people each year."

The RNHRD and Therapies Centre is being built close to the main entrance of the RUH and will be predominately an outpatient centre providing treatment, care and education for patients to recover from episodes of illness or injury, or to manage their long-term condition. It will include a large hydrotherapy pool, a specialist gym and rehabilitation equipment, and a biologics treatment space to support treatment, recovery, wellbeing and the management of long-term illnesses.

David Snell, Operations Director, Kier Construction, said:

"This is an important milestone for the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. Working collaboratively with the RUH team, our aim is to create a nurturing environment for patients by delivering first-class specialist facilities. Kier have vast experience in this field, delivering over £2bn of healthcare facilities over the last 12 years and we look forward to delivering this project that will leave a lasting legacy for the people of Bath."

Once building work is completed and the therapy services in the RUH have moved into the RNHRD and Therapies Centre, the construction of the new Cancer Centre will begin, all part of the major redevelopment programme to make the RUH fit for the future.

ENDS

For more information contact Rebecca Hedges, Marketing and Communications Officer on 01225 826282 or email: Rebecca.hedges@nhs.net

Notes to Editor:

About The Forever Friends Appeal

  • The Forever Friends Appeal is the principal fundraising charity for the Royal United Hospitals, Bath. As well as fundraising for major campaigns, we raise funds for the hospital's wards and departments to pay for state-of-the-art medical equipment and facilities, research and innovations, staff training and the creation of welcoming and highly beneficial healing environments for our patients and their families. Each year we invest in projects that go above and beyond what the NHS can provide.
  • For more information about the Appeal visit: www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk
RNHRD & Therapies Centre
  • The Forever Friends Appeal is raising a minimum of £2 million towards this £16 million project in association with the RNHRD Charitable Fund – with the Brownsword Charitable Foundation challenging the public to back the appeal by generously promising to match every pound donated up to the level of £1 million. For more information about the RNHRD and Therapies Centre campaign visit: www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk/rnhrd-therapies-centre
  • The RNHRD and Therapies Centre will bring together the RUH's rheumatology, therapies and a number of pain management services which are currently provided at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic diseases' (RNHRD) Mineral Water Hospital site – also known as The Min.
  • The new RNHRD and Therapies Centre will be a purpose-built outpatient facility and will include a new hydrotherapy pool, a gym, a therapeutic garden and clinical areas to improve patient experience, providing the treatment, care and education for patients to recover from episodes of illness or injury, or to manage their long-term condition.
Cancer Care Campaign
  • The Appeal's current major fundraising campaign is for a pioneering new Cancer Centre at the RUH - taking a holistic approach that is designed to produce a highly beneficial healing environment for patients and their families.
  • The new Cancer Centre will house a number of cancer services including; outpatient department and waiting areas, radiotherapy with a CT Simulator, oncology ward, chemotherapy and a day care unit, nuclear medicine and medical physics, research and development for clinical research and trials as well as a wellbeing and information support hub which will be a dedicated area to provide support to cancer patients receiving treatment across the RUH site.
  • Through support from the public and major donations from The James Dyson Foundation & Medlock Charitable Trust, the Appeal has currently raised £8.5 million for the new Cancer Centre and it is very much hoped that with the help of our donors we will be able to sustain the campaign into 2018.
  • Construction of the Cancer Centre is planned to commence in 2019.
  • The Centre will be jointly funded NHS / Charitable Funds partnership with the parties contributing c66% / 33% respectively.
  • For more information about the campaign visit: www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk/ruhcancercentre

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