UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS OF LEICESTER NHS TRUST
Tuesday 15 October 2002
PR30
Media Release [see link below for University of Leicester release]

Revamp of Leicestershire healthcare moves to next stage following approval of plans by Strategic Health Authority


Rebuilding of hospitals will provide new facilities for universities' medical and healthcare education

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has reached a further key milestone in its programme to rebuild and modernise its three hospitals in Leicester: Glenfield Hospital, Leicester General Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary.

On Friday 4 October 2002 Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Strategic Health Authority approved the 'outline business case' (OBC) put forward by the Trust, after considering it at its board meeting the previous evening.

The OBC was produced by the Trust in collaboration with the wider health community and key stakeholders, including the University of Leicester and De Montfort University. The document details the proposals for revamping acute healthcare in Leicester.

A total of 378m will be invested through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to substantially improve the three hospitals. Glenfield Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary will offer emergency acute care and a range of specialist services. Leicester General Hospital will be developed into a planned care and rehabilitation centre.

A further 25m will be invested to significantly improve the academic facilities at the hospitals. Leicester General Hospital will become a key site for training the doctors, nurses and midwives of the future, as two teaching establishments will relocate to specialist facilities created at the site: the University of Leicester Medical School (part of the partnership between the universities of Leicester and Warwick) and De Montfort University School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Peter Reading, the Trust's Chief Executive, said: "We are delighted that we can now proceed to the next stage in delivering our commitment to provide modern and efficient healthcare to the people of Leicestershire and Rutland.

"However, our plans for the hospitals aren't just about delivering healthcare services and meeting national targets, but also about providing first rate teaching and research and development facilities.

"These facilities will provide a better environment for students and improved career opportunities for staff - of whom there will be 3,000 more by 2010. They will also ensure that as well as delivering healthcare today, we are focussed on how it can be improved tomorrow and well into the future."

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester Professor Robert Burgess said: "This multi-million pound investment in the future of medical education and NHS provision heralds a new era for our Medical School. The University of Leicester has been teaching medical students for over 25 years and, next year, is set to have the largest number of medical students in the UK. We welcome the creation of dedicated state-of-the-art facilities for medical students so that doctors of tomorrow will be taught by academics in a hospital environment on a modern site. As a partner and stakeholder in this project, the University of Leicester is committed to improving the quality of medical training and medical provision in the region."

Professor Stephen Baskerville, Pro Vice-Chancellor at De Montfort University, also welcomed news of the programme's approval. "The NHS Plan calls for a future in which patients are treated by multi-professional care teams and that requires a physical context for multi-professional training. De Montfort looks forward to helping create with colleagues in the Trust and at the University of Leicester a unique educational facility in which the distinct expertise of doctors, nurses, midwives and therapists will be complemented by the development of shared knowledge, skills and experience."

The Trust will now be inviting private companies to express an interest in rebuilding, refurbishing and maintaining the hospital sites. After detailed negotiations have been completed, a consortium of companies will be appointed in late 2004. Building should commence soon after, with the first of the new hospital buildings opened in 2006/07.

The OBC will be available as a public document from 1 November 2002, from the Trust's website (www.uhl-tr.nhs.uk) and a number of public offices. Please telephone Anne Genes on 0116 258 8072 for details of offices where it can be found.

For further information please contact:

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust:
Public Relations team, telephone 0116 258 7604, email public.relations@uhl-tr.nhs.uk 

University of Leicester: Ather Mirza, telephone 0116 252 2415, email pressoffice@leicester.ac.uk

De Montfort University: Nick Stoddart, telephone 0116 257 7021, email nds@dmu.ac.uk

400m investment set to transform health provision and medical education [University of Leicester Press Release]

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