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28 March 2022

Heatherwood staffThe first patients have been treated at Frimley Health’s Heatherwood Hospital, a brand new centre of excellence for non-emergency care.

The world-class facility, which opened its doors on Monday 28 March, will help to reduce waiting times for patients and will bring some of the best planned care services in the country to local residents.

Patient Carol Gray, 64, 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. Carol 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 supports non-emergency procedures and every element has been designed to provide easy and efficient care for patients. By using a combination of the latest digital technology and flexible outpatient spaces, and coordinating appointments for consultations, diagnostics and surgical procedures, Heatherwood will reduce the number of visits patients need to make to the hospital.

The new hospital includes six state-of-the-art theatres and will provide services for Orthopaedics and Plastics, Ophthalmology, Orthodontics and Lithotripsy. There will be outpatient services for Cardiology, Gynaecology, General Medicine and Urology, supported by Endoscopy, Physiotherapy, Phlebotomy and Radiology.

Neil Dardis, Chief Executive, Frimley Health NHS Foundation 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.”

Key features of the hospital include:

  • Six state of the art laminar flow operating theatres. Optimised for orthopaedic procedures with one dedicated to ophthalmology. Operations will take place six days a week.
  • 48 in-patient beds including 20 individual ensuite side rooms all making the most of the woodland views
  • 22 day case pods. Specially designed day care procedure rooms allow more patients to be treated for ‘minor’ procedures
  • 26 outpatient procedure and treatment rooms. Freeing up time in the main operating theatres.
  • Six dedicated ‘eye rooms’ – Patients will be treated more quickly for eye procedures such as cataracts
  • Two endoscopy suites – Double the number of endoscopy appointments will be available
  • Radiology services – CT, mammography, MRI, ultrasound and x-ray

The £100 million building has been constructed behind the site of the existing Heatherwood hospital which has served patients for a century. The new hospital was designed by global interdisciplinary design practice BDP to reflect the woodland surroundings.  The innovative design focuses on patient and staff wellbeing, by maximising the views and access to the hospital’s stunning natural setting. 

Sustainability was a fundamental part of the design with the building achieving a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) very good status.  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. Rainwater from the roof drains into a nearby balancing pool, preventing flooding and will be used to promote biodiversity in the area.


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