News & Media

Media Release

Date: 7 June 2019

On the move this autumn - the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases



It's almost time to say a final farewell to the Mineral Water Hospital site in Bath, home of the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD), as staff and services prepare to relocate to the nearby Royal United Hospital's Combe Park site in the autumn.

Also known locally as the 'Min', the building houses rheumatology, rheumatology therapies, fatigue and chronic pain services, as well as diagnostic and research teams and support staff. All will be making the move to the main RUH site in Bath later this year.

Bringing staff and services together on one site has been many years in the planning, and the RUH has worked closely with patients and staff to design the best new home for each service.

RUH Chief Executive James Scott said: "This is an exciting time for everyone at the Trust and we're really looking forward to colleagues and patients joining us here at Combe Park.

"We know the Min is a much-loved building and there may be some sadness at moving. However, our new facilities will ensure that we can continue to provide the same high quality care, delivered by the same teams, in new and improved surroundings. We've also paid great attention to the interior design of our new buildings, incorporating some of the Min's iconic features and artworks to ensure the history, heritage and significance of the Min will live on."

It's just a couple of miles from the Min to the RUH, but moving a whole hospital is a big task so the move will take place in stages, during the weekends, over the space of a couple of months. This will ensure the minimum amount of disruption to patients and staff. Until then, services continue to be provided from the Min site.

RNHRD services will move to the following locations:

RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre

This new, purpose built Centre is nearing completion close to the main entrance of the RUH. It will be 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.

The new building will include a large hydrotherapy pool, group rooms, specialist gym and rehabilitation equipment, and a biologics treatment space. The new Centre has been specially designed to make use of natural light as well as garden areas and art to create a nurturing environment for all who use the building.

The Centre will be the new home for many of the services currently provided at the Min, including:

  • Rheumatology
  • Rheumatology Therapies
  • The Bath Centre for Fatigue Services
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Service
  • Complex Cancer Late Effects Rehabilitation Service

Bernard Ireland House

We are refurbishing a residential building at the RUH, Bernard Ireland House, to create a fitting setting for the Bath Centre for Pain Services (BCPS). This specialised, national service treats people of all ages with chronic pain and offers a range of residential programmes. Bernard Ireland House will provide specially-designed residential accommodation as well as group treatment areas and office space.

Hannah Connell, Clinical Lead for BCPS said: "Our services work with people to live well with the chronic pain they have by getting fitter, being able to do more and improving mood. Our past patients told us it was really important to them that they were not treated in a hospital setting, so the new home for BCPS is away from the main hospital building, with its own accommodation, therapy spaces and an attractive garden."

Wolfson Centre

The Wolfson Centre is where the RUH's laboratory-based research and clinical trials take place and this will provide a new home for the Research and Development team currently based at the Min site. The Centre is being extended to provide access to more clinic and research rooms, dedicated laboratory areas and office space. The RUH has a long history of innovative research as well as supporting nationally organised studies. Having both research teams together on one site will bring benefits and opportunities for the important research and development work that we do.

Clinical Imaging and Measurement Department

Clinical Measurement will move into the Clinical Imaging and Measurement Department at the RUH, located a short walk away from the RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre. This department is being specially modified to provide suitable facilities for bone density and clinical imaging services, alongside the existing nuclear medicine services at the RUH.

RUH services

It's not just staff from the Min site who are on the move. Teams from the RUH will also be relocating into the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapy Centre this autumn. Services including Physiotherapy outpatients, Hydrotherapy Outpatients, the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Physiotherapy service, Hand Unit and RUH Bath Pain clinic will all relocate, bringing together therapies and pain services located at the RUH with many of the services currently located at the Min.

For more information including moving dates visit www.ruh.nhs.uk/relocatingservices

ENDS
Notes to Editor

RNHRD Acquisition
The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) was acquired by the Royal United Hospital in February 2015. Due to significant and long-standing financial challenges the RNHRD could not continue in its current form. The RNHRD needed to become part of a larger organisation to ensure the continuation and future provision of its high quality services.

As part of the acquisition process, the RUH outlined that services would relocate from the RNHRD Mineral Water Hospital site to the RUH site, or suitable community settings where clinically appropriate and to maximise patient benefit. Following a period of careful planning and engagement with patients, staff and others to identify and create the best new home for each service, we are approaching the final phase of moving services and service from the RNHRD Mineral Water Hospital site.

RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre
Andrew Brownsword is a local entrepreneur and generous supporter of the Trust. Mr Brownsword has helped fund the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre, donating £1 million as part of the Brownsword Challenge, which matches fundraising donations from the public. Proceeds from the sale of the Mineral Water Hospital have gone towards providing new facilities for services and staff relocating to the RUH site, and the Brownsword Match Funding Challenge is providing the final £2 million required to meet the total costs.

RUH

  • The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust provides acute treatment and care for a catchment population of around 500,000 people in Bath, and the surrounding towns and villages in North East Somerset and Western Wiltshire. The hospital provides healthcare to the population served by four Clinical Commissioning Groups: Bath & North East Somerset CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Somerset CCG and South Gloucestershire CCG.
  • The Trust has 759 beds and a comprehensive range of acute services including medicine and surgery, services for women and children, accident and emergency services, and diagnostic and clinical support services.
  • In 2015 The Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust acquired the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) NHS Foundation Trust. The RNHRD treats patients from across the country offering services in rheumatology, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, cancer related fatigue and fatigue linked to other long term conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
  • The RUH is changing - we have an exciting programme of redevelopment underway transforming our site and further improving the services we provide. The Trust is building a purpose built RNHRD and Therapies Centre and is now working towards a new Dyson Cancer Centre. For more details visit: www.ruh.nhs.uk/fit4future

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