Duke of Gloucester officially opens Finchley Memorial Hospital

The landmark £28million Finchley Memorial Hospital – developed and owned by North London Estates Partnership (NLEP) – was officially opened by his Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester on September 12th. He unveiled an official plaque and met with patients already using the hospital.

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.

Carolyn Evans, Southern Regional Manager for NLEP, commented:

“Finchley Memorial is a wonderful facility that has been made possible by a cohesive public/private partnership. It forms the centre-piece of NHS Barnet’s strategy to transform the delivery of local health services.

“One of the key factors in the successful delivery of this impressive new hospital was, from the outset, to engage the local community in order to allay any fears that they had about the development, as well as inform and discuss the provision of services. (NLEP’s stakeholders on the scheme were gbconsortium1, which includes Assura, gbpartnerships and construction group Galliford Try and Bilfinger) and CHP.”

Finchley Memorial Hospital was designed by a team led by Marc Levinson of Murphy Philipps Architects. Construction, which began in September 2010, was completed in October 2012 and the hospital has been open to patients for most of this year.

For Neil McElduff, who spearheaded the scheme as the then Director of Corporate Services (NHS Barnet) and now Executive Director of Community Health Partnerships (CHP) London and South, the official opening represented the culmination of a vision to create a scheme that provided unparalleled healthcare provision for the local community. He 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.

“The reclaiming of nine acres of land – not used for over 30 years – for the benefit of the local community is something special to the scheme. The land now has an outdoor gym, football pitch for school and a memorial garden.

“We planned for the future and I am particularly proud of the Infusion Suite which is one of the first local community chemotherapy services in London bringing cancer care close to their homes. The provision of 12 beds within the suite for cancer patients is the first of its kind in the country.”

The infusion Suite allows some cancer patients to receive chemotherapy infusions and supportive treatments in this purpose-designed unit instead of having to travel to the Royal Free, Barnet Hospital or Chase Farm Hospital.

Dr Sue Sumners, Chair of Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group and a local GP said:

“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.”

David Riddle, Vice Chairman of Barnett CCG, commented:

“We are absolutely delighted with the building. The challenge is to bring more services in, but we know that the facilities for healthcare practitioners and patients are unbeatable.

“Currently the services that are available include a walk-in centre, outpatients’ audiology, cardiology, diagnostics and physiotherapy, rehabilitative care wards and GP surgeries.”

The parkland around the new building has a health and fitness campus which includes a physiotherapy garden and football pitches.