'Momentous day' as new Heatherwood Hospital opens in Ascot

'Momentous day' as new Heatherwood Hospital opens in Ascot

Carol Gray opens the new Heatherwood Hospital with Katharine Gray and Frimley Health CEO Neil Dardis

A 'world-class' new hospital officially opened in Ascot this morning (Monday), promising to become a 'new centre of excellence for non-emergency care'.

Described as ‘one of the best planned care facilities in the NHS’, the £100million hospital opened to its first patient - Carol Gray - this week.

The aim of the new hospital, which will be run by the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, is to reduce waiting times for patients and will contain the latest equipment and technology. 

Ms Gray, from Bracknell, is one of the first to be treated at the new hospital and was chosen to cut the ribbon to mark the official opening.

The 64-year-old was at Heatherwood for a knee operation following an eight-month wait for the surgery and had been unable to walk unaided for several months due to the pain.

Carol said: “I have been in awful pain and I’ve had a couple of bad falls so I’ve had to use a zimmer frame to get around.

"I’m so looking forward to recovering and getting back to being fully mobile. It’s really exciting being one of the first patients and wonderful that I’m being treated in such a fancy new hospital - it looks more like a hotel."

The 11,500 square metre hospital (below) supports non-emergency procedures and includes six state-of-the-art theatres.

It will provide services for orthopaedics and plastics, ophthalmology, orthodontics and lithotripsy. There will also be outpatient services for practices such as cardiology and gynaecology. 

Other key features at Heatherwood are 48 in-patient beds - including 20 individual en-suite side rooms with woodland views; 22 'day case pods', which are rooms allowing more patients to be treated for ‘minor’ procedures.

There will also be 26 outpatient procedure and treatment rooms, six dedicated eyecare rooms.

The hospital was designed by design firm BDP, with sustainability a key part of the design. Renewable energy comes from a solar farm covering a large section of the hospital’s roof and a robust sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) is installed under the car park.

Neil Dardis, chief executive of the Frimley Health Trust, said: “It is a momentous day for all of our staff at Frimley Health.

"Heatherwood will be one of the best planned care hospitals in the NHS, using technology and innovation to provide the best treatments and experience for our patients.

“We have exciting times ahead at Frimley Health as we plan to make significant investment in our digital capability, provide the latest treatments and advances in medicine, continue to invest in our facilities and maintain our position with our partners as one of the leading health and care systems in the country.”

The building has been constructed behind the site of the old Heatherwood hospital - pictured below - which has served patients for 100 years.

This building will now be turned into new homes after a planning application was approved earlier this year.

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