We're always keen to hear people's views and answer questions about the new Hillingdon hospital. Below is a full list of FAQs along with some animated answers to some of the most common questions you've asked us.
Q: What is wrong with the current hospital?
The Hillingdon Hospital has a range of long-standing issues centred on the age and inefficiency of the site, leading to poor patient and staff experience. These issues make it harder for us to achieve our mission to provide high quality, safe and compassionate care to improve the health and wellbeing of the people we serve.
Q: Is the hospital currently safe?
We want to reassure patients that they should continue to use Hillingdon Hospital for their care. This redevelopment project is about safeguarding the future of the hospital.
A new hospital on the current site
Q: Why is the preferred way forward to build a new hospital on the current site?
We had a long list of potential options, which became a shortlist of feasible options. The shortlist of options were evaluated against agreed criteria. The process for arriving at the preferred way forward involved collaboration with key local stakeholders through the Redevelopment Partnership Board. Based on that, a new hospital on the current site is the preferred way forward. More information is available on the plans section of this website.
Q: What will be the benefits of building a new hospital?
A new hospital provides the opportunity to improve facilities and provide the hospital that our patients and staff deserve. More detail is available in the vision section of this website.
Q: Why did you decide not to build on the Brunel site?
A new build on the current Hillingdon Hospital site was considered favourable to a new build on the Brunel University London site as it has a lower cost, can be delivered faster and has fewer delivery risks. On all criteria, the option of a full redevelopment on the current Hillingdon Hospital site was scored as the most favoured or joint most favoured option. Advice from the Trust’s planning advisors indicates that releasing the Greenbelt land at the Brunel University site for hospital development would result in a 2-3 year delay to the scheme. This planning application would also be a ‘very high risk’ application as it would need to demonstrate that brownfield sites (i.e. the current site) had been considered and were unviable and/or prohibitively expensive.
Timeline and costs
Q: How long will it take to build the new hospital?
We can’t confirm exact dates yet but we’re currently working on a timeline of around three years to build the new hospital once construction starts.
Q: Will the scale of the project change if you can’t secure enough funding?
There are no plans currently to significantly change the scale of the project due to funding.
Q: Who is funding the build?
Funding will come from central government via the Treasury as public capital spending. It will not be funded via PFI. Funding for the decant and enabling works so we are ready to start building the new hospital also comes from central government.
Q: How do you propose to carry on the facilities currently provided for patients in this area whilst the rebuilding is all going on?
The building work will take place in phases so the hospital and its usual services can remain open.
Q: This project seems to be moving very fast, when will more detailed information and a public consultation be launched?
Local commissioners and the local authority are responsible for deciding if a public consultation is needed. Ahead of the strategic outline case being submitted, they decided that a public consultation was not needed, as the new hospital will provide the same range of services in broadly the same place as in the current one.
We always want to engage with and hear from local people about our plans. Information is updated regularly on our website where you can also give feedback. With COVID restrictions lifted, we will also be able to go out into the community more to show off our plans and hear from you in person.
Getting to the new hospital and estate
Q: Will there be more parking - especially disabled parking spaces?
The new hospital will have a similar number of parking spaces as the current hospital. These spaces will be much closer to the entrance and be easier for people to use to access the hospital.
Disabled parking will be in line with best practice and design guidance, overseen by our specialist transport advisors.
Q: Will there be dedicated bus stops on the new site?
Yes. The hospital will have dedicated bus stops as well as a first-of-its-kind mobility hub to enable people to use alternative forms of transport to cars.
The hub will provide people with live bus timetable information, retail facilities and sheltered waiting areas.
Q: Will there be more drop-off zones?
While the plans are still to be confirmed, the hospital will have a drop-off zone at the multi-storey car park, which will take people straight to the main entrance. We are also looking at making space for further drop off zones elsewhere on the site near the car parks.
Q: Are there plans to enlarge or change the road layout around the hospital to support the changes?
The road layout around the hospital will stay the same. Our plans do include potential for improvements to the existing layout, such as access points into the hospital and round about junction adjacent to the hospital.
Q: Will there be a helipad?
Helipads are located at Major Trauma Centres (MTC). Air Ambulances will be called if there is a major incident and will then take patients to a major trauma centre. There are no plans for Hillingdon Hospital to be an MTC, so we are not planning for a helipad.
Q: What will happen to the current hospital while you are building a new one?
The hospital will remain open with all services continuing to operate.
Q: Will the A&E continue to run during construction of the new hospital?
Q: How will building noise and traffic associated with the building project be reduced for local residents?
During construction, we will have a 24/7 point of contact, displayed around the construction site, to ensure that residents and patients can get in touch with any queries relating to the works. We will use a satellite-controlled vehicle management system, which means that construction vehicles only access the site when required and when there is space. This ensures that any traffic accessing the site causes minimal disruption to local roads. Construction vehicles will also use a haul road through the site that is completely separate from other road users.
At the same time, we will use a lot of modular construction. This means that much of the new hospital will be built off-site and brought to Hillingdon to be put in place. This will help reduce noise and ensure a consistent high quality to the building works themselves.
Q: There is already building work going started on the site. What is this for and how was this communicated to residents?
We are building a new hospital because the current one has significant maintenance needs. As part of this, wWe are currently building two modular buildings - one in the north of the hospital and one in the south. These buildings allow us to prepare for building the new hospital and let us keep the current hospital as we undertake maintenance that can not wait. We have publicised these plans on our website and with key stakeholders at the local authority.
Q: How high will the new buildings be?
The highest parts of the new building will be comparable with the current tower. However, it is important to be clear that the tower building will be set back from the road and residential area so it blends in with local residential areas.
Q: What plans are there to make the building environmentally sustainable?
This is going to be a modern hospital fit for the 21st century so it will be fully sustainable. We will use sustainable and green sources of energy, ensure the building is energy efficient and include other appropriate methods such as solar panels. As part of the wider project, there will be woodland and green spaces around the hospital.
The new mobility hub is designed to help meet sustainability targets by encouraging for environmentally friendly methods of travel. This includes providing a home for our own vehicle fleet, which aims to be fully electric in the future as part of our drive toward Net Zero Carbon.
The redevelopment will also deliver a network of dedicated footpaths, cycle paths and onward connections around the hospital and provide 250 long-stay cycle parking spaces and 40 short-stay cycle parking spaces.
Accounting for population growth
Q: Can local services and facilities support more homes?
We have worked with our partners in health and social care to make sure our new hospital capacity assumptions are based on agreed future population estimates. The local authority has confirmed that the Adult Social Care team support the modelling set out in the needs case which was prepared for Hillingdon Hospital and consider that the hospital is the correct size to accommodate current and future needs.
Around 10,000m2 of extra space will be safeguarded to expand the hospital site if needed.
Q: Why is the land being sold for homes?
Around 10,000m2 of extra space will be safeguarded to expand the site if required and will provide good amenity space and car parking for the new hospital.
A further portion of the site will be an enhanced wetland area for the community. The remaining part can then be offered up as an opportunity for the development of much needed housing for local residents in line with the London borough of Hillingdon requirements.
Q: Will the homes proposed to be built on the site be key worker accommodation?
This redevelopment provides an opportunity to deliver over 300 residential units for residents across the borough.
There will be a mix of sizes and it will include social housing. What proportion of this housing will be earmarked for key workers will be a matter for the council to decide.
Services at the new hospital
Q: Will the new hospital have capacity to see more patients?
Yes, the new hospital will have about 40 per cent more floor space and have and a small increase in beds numbers. More importantly, it is also better designed so that services and departments are together when needed. For example:
- Urgent and emergency care on a single floor with integrated diagnostics
- More single rooms and isolation rooms in all inpatient areas to improve patient experience, privacy and dignity and infection control
- A midwife led unit co-located with the rest of the maternity department
- A larger critical care unit located next to a high dependency unit
- Outpatients designed to improve patient and clinical experience while supporting better integrated and digitally enabled care. Features include:
- Large multi-functional treatment rooms for consultations and day case procedures for a range of specialities
- More radiology diagnostics, which will support one stop visits.
All of this will mean patients will get better care and the hospital will be able to see more people.
Q; How many beds will there be?
The new Hillingdon hospital will have 489 beds compared to 484 currently (this doesn’t include beds at Mount Vernon) and the overall floor space will increase by about 40 per cent more space. The most important improvement will be that services and departments will link up more closely (see above)
Q: How many wards will there be?
The exact number of wards is still to be determined. Regardless of the final number, we will use what we have learned from the pandemic and have more isolation rooms. This will mean that if there is an infection outbreak such as norovirus, we should always be able to keep more wards open.
Q: What facilities will be improved for staff and patients? (i.e. Restaurants, environment, gardens, staff facilities, shops)
The new hospital will be much easier to navigate with services located together where needed. This will be a big improvement on the current hospital, which can feel a bit like a maze and is difficult to get around.
At the same time, the new hospital will have welcoming home-from-home, wards with a big emphasis on natural light and views. In-patient floors will be higher up to maximise natural light and to provide views. Areas of high footfall such as the urgent and emergency care department and out-patients will be on lower floors to enable easy access. As part of the overall master plan for the site, we are also proposing to add in new amenities and significant extra green space. This will provide genuinely new, improved spaces for local people, staff and patients.
Q: Why not make the hospital much larger with more services for the future?
The new hospital is much larger than the current one with about 40 per cent more floor space and a small increase in beds numbers. There is also space safeguarded for potential expansion should it be needed.
Q: Are there plans to introduce further clinical services on the site once the new building has been constructed? (will any new specialist services move to the new hospital?)
The same range of services will be available in the new hospital as in the current one. All the services that a hospital of this type needs will be in the new facility. There is an area safeguarded as part of the plans that can be used for expansion if needed. As well as allowing for physical expansion, the new hospital will allow for the latest digital technologies too so we can offer more seamless care and manage patient flows better.
Q: Are there plans for a new birth centre?
Yes, there will be as part of the new midwife-led unit that will be co-located with the maternity department. Co-locating a midwife-led unit with the maternity department so all the specialties are on hand if needed follows modern best practice. The birthing unit will have features similar to other modern units such as birth pools and ensuite facilities.
If you have any questions about the redevelopment, please contact us at email@example.com.