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Hospital bosses and contractors celebrated the completion of the main structure of a new hospital building that will provide state-of-the-art NHS services to patients in Berkshire and beyond.

A ‘topping out’ ceremony took place in the new £98m Heatherwood Hospital that is being built by Kier for Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust in Ascot.

The celebration, attended by builders, contractors and healthcare partners, marked a major milestone in the project with the main structure completed barely a year since work began.

The new NHS hospital will provide six top-of-the-range operating theatres, a range of outpatient services and up-to-date diagnostics in a superb new building set into woodland.

Ascot has been home to a hospital at Heatherwood for almost a century, but with ageing facilities and a growing need for investment, its long-term future was in doubt as recently as five years ago.

Frimley Health’s ambitious plan has seen a new building at the back of the current hospital site take shape while existing services stay fully operational.

Services are on track to transfer to the new building next year and the Trust aims to double the number of patients visiting Heatherwood each year to 168,000 over the next decade.

Frimley Health chief executive Neil Dardis said: “Our board gave the green light just a year ago and it is remarkable how much progress has been made since then. Kier are doing a fantastic job.

“It is so exciting to reach this milestone and to have the completion of the new hospital in sight. It will be among the best facilities of its kind in the NHS and we will finally have the facilities that our fantastic Heatherwood teams and the patients they care for deserve.”

The new hospital will include:

  • Six operating theatres
  • 48 inpatient beds plus 24 day case cubicles
  • General surgery, antenatal, paediatric and physiotherapy services
  • One-stop clinics, including breast and urology
  • Enhanced cardiology diagnostics
  • Orthopaedics
  • Private patient facilities

Martin Reilly, operations director for Kier Regional Building Southern, said: “We always look to leave a lasting legacy in areas in which we build. Working collaboratively with Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, we have engaged with the local community throughout this project as well as providing training opportunities for those who are considering a career within the built environment.”

Representatives from Frimley Health and Kier, architects BDP, project managers, construction consultants Potter Raper, planning consultants Vail Williams and local healthcare partners attended the ceremony.

A symbolic brick was laid at the top of the new building and Martin Reilly presented Neil Dardis with an engraved trowel.