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London NHS hospital trusts £190m rebuilding program | NHS

An extraordinary row has erupted between two NHS hospital trusts, with one accusing the other of endangering the safety of critically ill patients through a £190m development scheme.

University College London Hospital (UCLH) says Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH)’s reconstruction of its aging site will lead to patients being denied urgent care as they find themselves trapped in ambulances trapped in construction site traffic.

The dispute has pitted two trusts that are close neighbors in historic Bloomsbury, central London, and have long had a close working relationship.

UCLH has lodged a vigorous objection to GOSH’s plan to demolish part of its central London site, which dates back to 1852, and build a state-of-the-art eight-storey replacement facility.

This would include a new specialist center for the treatment of children and young people with cancer. UCLH says the scheme poses a risk, both to adults taken to its National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) for urgent brain surgery and to children cared for at GOSH.

His main concern centers on GOSH’s plan to begin using Powis Place, a short private street jointly owned by the two trusts, as a new temporary main entrance during the three-year construction phase.

UCLH fears that ambulances rushing to offload patients there could be stuck in nearby streets congested with 30-tonne trucks servicing the worksite, and could endanger under-18s arriving at GOSH as Powis Place would be too crowded.

He sent a two-page letter of objection submitted to the London Borough of Camden, the planning authority from which GOSH seeks permission to proceed with its plan. In it, UCLH says GOSH’s planned use and access to Powis Place “will result in significant risk of harm to patients, particularly arrivals requiring urgent and immediate treatment.”

“A high volume outpatient entry to Powis Place will conflict with the blue light emergency pathway for critically ill patients for NHNN and GOSH. Current proposals do not provide safe passage for pedestrians due to conflict with emergency vehicle access,” he says.

Potential ‘congestion’ caused by GOSH and NHNN patients being dropped off at new entrance could delay 999 ambulances arriving on time, ‘creating unnecessary delays in treating patients” … [which] may lead to clinical harm for NHNN or GOSH patients… it would not be safe for this entrance to be used for outpatients and their visitors or families,” he adds.

UCLH is also concerned about patients with brain diseases who occasionally receive urgent medical care outside of the neurological hospital upon arrival. “Under the current proposal, this would be in full view of visitors and patients using the GOSH outpatient entrance. [This] has implications for the privacy and dignity of both trusts.

Additionally, GOSH’s plan to turn the street that gives it its name into a one-way road during the construction phase “is very concerning and will cause delays in the treatment of critically ill patients”, UCLH said. . The resulting ‘confusion and congestion’ on Great Ormond Street and surrounding roads would have ‘adverse impacts on patient access’ to NHNN and [the] Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, the homeopathic hospital located next to GOSH.

GOSH’s replacement of its “front building” is part of a five-phase plan to expand its space by 62% by rebuilding two-thirds of its estate. “The ever-increasing complexity of treatments, new equipment and GOSH’s ambition to improve the experience of patients and families, as well as the health and well-being of staff, drive the need for more rooms and larger spaces,” he says.

Some residents are unhappy. In a statement, the new Great Ormond Street Group advised the trust to abandon plans for a “monster new 10-storey building in the middle of a small residential road in a conservation area, which will destroy the lives of residents and kill the local inhabitants”. businesses.” The new building “is totally disproportionate” in size to neighboring homes. He urged GOSH to instead build a brand new hospital elsewhere.

The row presents a headache for local MP Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, who may have to decide which side to support. Local resident Henry Lamprecht, who is also chairman of the local branch of the Labor Party, opposes the plan.

Conservation group Heritage England also opposed the plan. He fears the scale of the proposed new building will spoil people’s ability to appreciate St Paul’s Cathedral from Primrose Hill, a London park on a hill to the north, which is a protected view.

GOSH did not respond to a request to address UCLH’s concerns. Instead, the two trusts issued a joint statement outlining their determination to resolve the issues in dispute.

He said: ‘We are neighboring NHS hospitals with a long history of working together as close partners and part of a common lead cancer treatment centre.

“We are talking to each other to find a way forward that will work for both our organizations and patients. We hope to be able to resolve the issues raised.