09 November 2015, Midlands

CHP’s £30 million New QE11 Hospital officially opened in Welwyn Garden City

The New QEII Hospital, which provides a range of primary and acute care services, was officially opened on Friday, 6 November by the Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister for Community and Social Care and Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England.

New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City

CHP Chief Executive Officer, Dr Sue O’Connell, and Investment Director Mark Grinonneau, were among the guests celebrating the official opening of the New QE11 Hospital in Welwyn Garden City. 

The £30 million project was delivered in partnership between CHP and LIFT Company Assemble Community Partnerships. CHP is Head Tenant, with clinical care and services delivered by East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust and Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.

Partnership working

Welcoming the new facility, Mr Stevens said: “This is great example of where working in partnership, with services delivered by both acute and community providers and commissioned by local GPs, can successfully provide a wide range of outpatient and urgent care services for the local community.”

“I’m delighted to officially open the new QEII Hospital today. Five decades after the first purpose-built district hospital opened here in Welwyn Garden City, it is fitting that this new hospital should again be at the forefront of modern care for the 21st Century.”

Ensuring the NHS estate supports the delivery of high quality services, now and in the future

Dr Sue O’Connell added: “The development demonstrates what can be achieved through partnership working, transforming the way services are delivered and ensuring that we have the right buildings in place to support the delivery of high quality services, now and in the future.”

Highly commended 

Adding to the occasion was the announcement earlier this week that the hospital has achieved ‘highly commended’ in two categories at the prestigious Building Better Healthcare Awards 2015, for ‘Best Acute Hospital Development’ and ‘Best Primary Care Development’.

Bringing care closer to home

The New QEII Hospital has been open to patients since May this year, providing a purpose-built, welcoming, modern environment delivering the services that local people use most often. These include:

  • An Urgent Care Centre
  • Ante-natal services
  • Cancer treatments
  • Outpatients
  • X-ray and CT / MRI scanners 
  • Physiotherapy
  • Speech and language therapies
  • Audiology
  • Phlebotomy
  • An endoscopy suite 
  • Breast clinic
  • Multi-disciplinary area for outpatient children’s services.

Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP speaking at the opening of the new QEII Hospital

Simon Stevens being presented with a painting by Nurse Team Manager, Dagmar Louw

Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP speaking at the opening of the new QEII Hospital

Simon Stevens being presented with a painting by Nurse Team Manager, Dagmar Louw

“This is great example of where working in partnership can successfully provide a wide range services for the local community.”

Simon Stevens, NHS England Chief Executive

Celebrating the opening in style

As part of the opening, a commemorative plaque was unveiled with the assistance of local patients.

10 year old Evan Taylor, regularly attends clinics in the hospital's child zone and 27 year old Phil Nicholls, is a member the Purple All Stars - a local dance group  for people with learning disabilities, who raise awareness of health promotion message through music and dance (and who performed for guests at the opening).

Speaking after the unveiling, Evan's mother, Mrs Sam Taylor said: “As a family, we've needed to use quite a few of the services that the New QEII Hospital provides.  The kindness, support and information that we have received has always been exceptional. 

“Professionals such as the paediatricians and the occupational therapist have always shown a level of care and compassion that really makes little ones, like my son, feel at ease.  He is always happy to attend his appointments."

Following the unveiling, the Minister and Simon Stevens were each presented with a painting by Dagmar Louw, a nurse team manager who works in Ambulatory Care at the New QEII and is a talented amateur artist.  

Improving access to high quality health care

Dr Hari Pathmanathan is a Welwyn GP and Chair of East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the local GP-led NHS organisation that planned the new hospital and the health care it provides. 

He said:  “This hospital is an excellent local resource for local residents who have access to a range of high quality services in a welcoming, bright and spacious environment. The opportunity to design and plan local healthcare services around the needs of patients has been challenging but also a great privilege.”