The new Royal: on course for a healthy future for Liverpool

Twelve months from the start of construction, the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital is progressing well on schedule, aiming to improve the health and wealth of the city.

The £335m new Royal Liverpool University Hospital is fast taking shape since construction started in February 2014. Its lift cores and tower cranes are dominating the skyline greeting drivers at the foot of Edge Lane, as they enter the city centre. Patients, visitors and staff in parts of the current hospital can see workers busily building floors that will contain Ophthalmology, Renal Dialysis, Radiology and Accident and Emergency, when the new Royal opens in 2017.

The new Royal will be the biggest hospital in the UK to provide all single en-suite bedrooms on each inpatient ward, affording greater privacy and dignity for patients and helping to further reduce the risk of infection.

There will be 23 wards, including a large clinical research facility and a 40-bedded Critical Care Unit and the new Royal will have 18 state of the art operating theatres.

The Emergency Department will be one of the biggest in the North West with its own CT scanner and special lifts for patients going straight to the operating theatres on the floor above.

But there’s more to the new Royal than building a state of the art hospital, designed to provide the future of modern healthcare to the people of Liverpool. This is a project that will help to shape the future of the city, not only its health but its wealth. Because from the outset, the new Royal project included a range of schemes aimed at generating career opportunities in construction, local regeneration. And once the new Royal is built around 100,000 square metres of space will be created devoted to life sciences industries, putting Liverpool on the world stage of life sciences generating 5,000 high tech, high value jobs for the city.

Over the three year construction, developers Carillion aim to have 60% of the construction workforce made up from local people, with 15% of them coming from priority wards with high rates of unemployment. In just the first year, Carillion have created a workforce with 41% local employment, 10% of which are from priority wards. Carillion have also provided 36 work experience placements and have provided £30,500 to 19 local community organisations as part of the new Royal Sustainable Communities Programme, which will provide £100,000 over three years to worthwhile local projects. In addition, the construction has supported local firms with 35% local construction spend so far against a target of 60% for three year project.

David Kennedy Operations Director at Carillion said: “Construction is on schedule to be completed in the first half of 2017. We have completed the ground floor slab and the structure is now at level 4 allowing the envelope of the building to commence. Inside we have started forming Consultants rooms and the first treatment areas in Ophthalmology and Radiology are underway. One of the things we’re really proud of is how this project is supporting the local community by providing local career opportunities., Carillion in partnership with the City of Liverpool College, Liverpool in Work, and SkyBlue Solutions developed a framework for a bespoke flexible programme of skills intervention and pre-employment training for local people declaring an interest in working on the Construction of the new Royal Liverpool Hospital.”

The initial 10 week pilot programme, delivered by City of Liverpool College, completed with a graduation ceremony for 13 learners on Friday 12th December. To date, 7 of the 13 learners have achieved full time employment on site at the RLH project.

Cllr Nick Small on site at the new Royal Liverpool Hospital
Cllr Nick Small on site at the new Royal Liverpool Hospital

Cllr Nick Small, Cabinet Member for Employment and Skills at Liverpool City Council, said: “It’s great to see that not only is the new Royal hospital going up fast before our eyes, but the new Royal project is already making great strides on the commitments of its developers to boosting the local economy, both in terms of local job creation and in supporting the local supply chain.”

Helen Jackson, Director of Strategy and Transformation at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust said: “When it opens in 2017, the new Royal will enable us to transform the way in which we care for patients. Having all single rooms for inpatients will not only provide greater privacy and dignity for them and a much better experience of care. It will also help to improve patient safety by enhancing the management of infection and reducing hospital acquired infections. In the new Royal, departments that work closely with one another will be located closer to each other, providing a more efficient environment for staff and patients. Whilst lots of natural light and colour will help to make the new Royal a better working environment and a much nicer place to be for patients and visitors.”