The award-winning Finchley Memorial Hospital was officially opened on Thursday (12 September) by His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester.
The £28 million new building was completed in October 2012 and has been open to patients for most of this year. It includes a 12-bed infusion suite which is one of the first local community chemotherapy services in London.
Local GPs who are now in charge of most of the local NHS budget see the hospital as an important part of their future plans to provide high quality services in community settings that meet the needs of patients now and in the future.
Patients in Barnet have access to a full range of diagnostic and therapy services there as well as rehabilitation care in the community. It provides a walk-in centre, community pharmacy, an out-patients department, podiatry, audiology and cardiology and musculoskeletal services.
Along with advanced community and primary care services, the hospital has the latest energy and water saving measures such as rain water harvesting, air source pumps and thermal insulation which have led to vastly reduced energy costs. The construction of the building also used sustainable materials, and solar panels provide power from the roof.
The parkland around the new building has a health and fitness campus which includes a physiotherapy garden and football pitches.
At the opening ceremony, the Duke of Gloucester unveiled an official plaque and met with patients already using the hospital. Two time capsules were buried in the grounds of the building to mark the occasion.
The Duke of Gloucester officiated at the 100th anniversary ceremony of the old hospital in 2008 and the history of the building is being preserved with a memorial garden to give people a place to sit in peaceful surroundings.
Dr Sue Sumners, Chair of Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group and a local GP said: “We are delighted to be able to celebrate the opening of this new building with a royal visit. Patients are already benefiting from the services it provides so I am really pleased to welcome the Duke back to Finchley Memorial and to show him what this facility offers.
“While care has been taken to preserve the history of the site, the new Finchley Memorial Hospital is a glimpse of the future – high quality healthcare and community services in a pleasant and energy efficient building.
“Working with our partners locally, we are hopeful this new building will become a much used and important part of our local NHS services.”
Neil McElduff, Community Health Partnerships (head tenant for the building) commented:
“I’m extremely proud to be a part of the Royal Opening of Finchley Memorial Hospital. Having been involved in this flagship LIFT project for the past ten years it is hugely satisfying to now see the building up and running, delivering on its vision of transforming local health services and providing high quality services closer to home. It is especially pleasing to see nine acres of disused land be bought back into use for the benefit of the local community and form a health campus on the site.”
L to R: Mayor of Barnet & Finchley; Dr Sue Sumners; Duke of Gloucester
Background to Finchley Memorial Hospital:
The original Finchley Memorial Hospital opened in 1908 at a cost then of £8,000, most of that funded by donation from Mr Ebenezer Homan and local subscriptions. In its early years the hospital was largely funded by voluntary contributions and public appeals. One of the larger sources was the Finchley Carnival which in 1908 raised 10% of the total income.
After the Great War the hospital was extended and refurbished. The new enlarged hospital officially became the Memorial Hospital on November 22 1922 “in memory of the men of Finchley and Whetstone who fell in the war”.
The hospital became an NHS hospital in 1948, at which point it had 84 beds. The League of Friends of Finchley Memorial Hospital came into existence in 1957, when the then Mayor of Finchley nominated the hospital as his charity for the year and inaugurated the Friends.
In the years since 1957 the Friends have been strong in consistent in their support of patients and staff, and have raised many thousands of pounds to improve the amenities of the old hospital. They have contributed generously to patient amenities and art works in the new hospital.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester officiated at the ceremony to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Finchley Memorial Hospital in 2008.
The new Finchley Memorial Hospital was conceived by the former Barnet Primary Care Trust in 2006, and building began in October 2010. The building was handed over on time and within budget in October 2012. Finchley Memorial Hospital was conceived to provide the most advanced primary and community health services to Finchley in a modern, environmentally advanced building, within a park-like setting to operate as a health and fitness campus.
A wide range of services are available at the new hospital, including inpatient rehabilitative care, outpatient services, blood tests, x-ray and other diagnostics, a walk-in centre to treat minor injuries and illnesses as well as a pharmacy, patient information library and a coffee shop.
Notes to editors