Published date: 03 February 2023

Modernising healthcare infrastructure in Southampton

As healthcare evolves to meet the changing needs of patients and communities, it's critical that facilities keep up with the pace. The recent redevelopment of the Hythe & Dibden War Memorial Hospital in Southampton, UK, provides a prime example of how modernising healthcare facilities can benefit patients and the broader healthcare system.

Paul Johnson, Senior Portfolio Optimization Manager and estate strategy lead for the project, explains why the redevelopment was a priority, what challenges were overcome to bring the project to completion, and how the new facility is creating positive experiences for patients.

The new purpose-built health hub replaces an old cottage hospital and health centre and provides patients with access to modern diagnostics, physiotherapy, primary care, maternity, and a range of outpatient services," says Johnson. The compact footprint is also more cost-efficient, with surplus land generating funds to reinvest in the NHS.

The project was deemed a priority due to the growing healthcare needs of the 80,000+ population within the Totton and Waterside area, and the non-compliant and outdated nature of the previous facilities. The redevelopment was initiated in 2010 and completed in October 2022 at a cost of £10 million.

It was a priority project for the local Southwest Hampshire Delivery System and Hampshire and Isle of Wight (HIOW) Integrated Care System (ICS). Local strategies highlighted the need to re-develop the 1.5-hectare site, particularly since the inpatient beds closure in April 2010. The age and design of the old cottage hospital meant it could not be made safe and compliant for inpatients. The remaining part acted as an outpatient facility, but the prefabricated building was in a poor condition.

Despite the challenges posed by funding delays, the COVID-19 pandemic, and Brexit, the project was completed successfully with the help of over 50 colleagues from different functions, including external consultants. Collaborative working was critical to the project's success.

There were some key learnings from the project, including the importance of involving the Facilities Management and Operations teams in the design stage and having a dedicated resource for all disciplines in future projects. We will continue building relationships with our customers in line with the Customer at the Heart approach to business delivery.

The redevelopment of the Hythe & Dibden War Memorial Hospital serves as a model for how modernizing healthcare facilities can improve patient experiences and the overall efficiency of the healthcare system.

Take a look at the timelapse video to see development of the new hospital...