This live event has finished
- New Bridgwater Community Hospital now accepting patients
- Facility replaces town’s 200-year-old hospital
- New hospital expected to deal with 62,000 patients a year
- Free parking and free TV service
- League of Friends donate £66k for equipment
- Concert fundraiser to be held on May 9
Very impressed by the new hospital. The reception area has a very chilled out feel and you're not all cramped along a corridor.— @MercuryKJames 30 April 2014
Mike Paynter, who has been a consultant nurse with Bridgwater Hospital for over two years, said the MIU and urgent care facilities at the new build are fantastic compared to the old hospital.
He said: "We saw 34,000 patents in the last year at the old hospital. This place is much bigger and better equipped, with a larger space and easily accessible from the M5 - so I anticipate we will see even more patients here."
Bridgwater Community Hospital Matron Sue Taylor said the new building is a huge improvement on the old facility.
She said: "The new hospital just doesn't compare. It's just amazing.
"This is my 20th year working for the hospital so I've seen some changes over the years.
"This project has been brilliant. We have everything on one site and we're all part of a big team helping to deliver the best healthcare to patients.
"The environment is friendly and relaxing and has been specially designed with dementia patients in mind. The building also offers better privacy with individual rooms and an overall modern healthcare experience."
Linda and Brian Willison, of Nether Stowey, were also there on the first day. Linda said: "It's very modern and bright."
Brian added: "I've been transferred from the old hospital to Musgrove in the past because they didn't have what I needed there, but now I can come here instead of going all the way to Taunton."
Becki Foster, from Durleigh, said: "There's more room here than at the old hospital. In the previous building you could feel quite cramped. Here is relaxing. It's wonderful."
Barbra Foster, from Albert Street, said: "From what I've seen so far, I'm very impressed.
"The waiting area is nice and comfortable."
Debbie Newell, from Wilstock Village, said: "It looks very nice. The reception area is clean and bright and it makes a big difference.
"It's easy to get to and parking is free, which is much better than at other hospitals, where it can be really expensive to park. It makes it easier for relatives to visit patients."
Margaret and Dennis Reardon, from Puriton, visited the new hospital today.
Margaret said: "It's a lovely place with a decent sized car park. Car parking at the old one was very difficult.
Dennis said: "This is in a much better location, being just off the motorway, but not in the crowded centre of town."
Bridgwater Hospital - Consultant nurse Mike Paynter in the Minor injuries urgent care unit.
Contributions made by the League of Friends of Bridgwater Hospital and community:
The League agreed to upgrade certain standard NHS equipment and also supply other much needed equipment such as:
*Ultra low beds
*Overnight Visitor Beds
*Upgrades to chair and couches
Every patient in Bridgwater Community Hospital will have a bedside TV and they will have FREE use of this thanks to the League of Friends.
In total the League have committed in excess of £66,500 to this project.
Since it was formed in November 1955, this small committee of volunteers has allocated to the Hospital the sum of
DETAILS of the bus services which go to Bridgwater’s new hospital have been released.
Webber Bus extended its services – 37 and Town Services A, B, C, D, E and K – from April 28 to cover the new facility.
A full timetable of their hospital service can be viewed online here
But Malcolm Rawnsley, of Westonzoyland, said First Bus services do not go close enough to the new hospital.
He told the Mercury: “There’s a resident here who was transferred from Musgrove to the new hospital. Her friends, who are elderly, wanted to visit so I looked into what bus they could get there.
“But I was shocked to see the First Bus services don’t actually make it to the hospital; the closest is Service 1, which stops at Kings Drive. You can’t expect elderly people with walking sticks to walk that distance.”
A spokesman for First Bus said: “The Service 1 goes to the hospital from town and the 375/X75 stop nearby the hospital.”
How to find the Hospital:
On foot or by car. The hospital is on Bower Lane, Bath Road, Bridgwater which is just off junction 23 of the M5, Bower Lane can be accessed from Bath Road (A39) and Westonzoyland Road (A372)
By bike. There are a number of cycle lanes leading towards the hospital, Secure bicycle anchor points are available at the front of the hospital.
The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) is open seven days a week from 07.00 – 23.00. The last patient will be admitted at 22.30.
Bridgwater Hospital - Lucy Hornshaw in Waverley Ward.
The Visiting times for the Waverley ward are between 14.30 – 16.30 and 18.30 – 20.00 daily.
There is free on-site car parking for 217 spaces including 16 disabled parks and eight family and child places.
Later in 2014, services will also include:
*Endoscopy, to support the national bowel screening programme
Below is a list of the range of services that will be available at the New Bridgwater Community Hospital:
*The Waverley inpatient ward with 18 single rooms each with en-suite bathrooms and three four-bed wards with toilet and shower facilities on each.
*The Mary Stanley Midwife-led unit
*Bridgwater Minor Injury Unit
*Diagnostic imaging including ultrasound and x-ray
*Speech and language therapy
*A range of outpatient clinics which includes
Care of the elderly
ENT (Ear Nose and Throat)
The new hospital has also taken into account the environment. It has radiators in the ceiling, which makes them more efficient and reduces the carbon footprint.
The walls of the hospital are insulated to 70 centimetres, reducing the energy required to heat it. Wherever possible natural light and air has been brought into the building with large windows, (almost from floor to ceiling) and skylights.
The new design has also been completed in partnership with the Environment Agency to make sure the hospital is protected as much as possible from flooding and flood water. As a consequence, the site was raised one metre before construction began.
THE League of Friends of Bridgwater Community Hospital are “hugely impressed” by the facility and have raised £66,000 towards new equipment for the hospital, including a TV for each bed which patients can use for free.
Mary Porter, publicity officer for the hospital’s League of Friends, said: “It’s a totally different world over in the new hospital. The old building had had its day and it was time for the move.
“Staff were attached to the nostalgia of the old building, so it has been hard. But the new facility is light and airy and a very nice environment.”
There are 18 single rooms and three four-bedded wards, giving a less crowded feel than the old hospital, which consisted of two large wards.
To continue its support, and celebrate the opening, the League of Friends are holding a concert at Bridgwater Town Hall on May 9 at 7.30pm with the Taunton Concert Band.
Tickets, £8, can be purchased from the Carnival Centre in High Street.
Mrs Porter added: “The concert will provide a rare opportunity to see the popular Taunton Concert Band in the town hall. It’s the first time they have done a concert in Bridgwater – and it’s for a great cause.”
BRIDGWATER’S £33 million state-of-the-art hospital officially opens in Bower Lane today (April 30).
Bridgwater Community Hospital started the move from Salmon Parade to its new site on Bower Lane on Monday and inpatients were moved across yesterday (Tuesday), followed by the minor injury unit and X-ray department.
The new facility replaces the town’s existing 200-year-old hospital in Salmon Parade. It is not yet known what this building will be used for in the future.
The hospital is expected to deal with 62,000 patients a year and will include 30 in-patient beds, a maternity unit, a minor injuries unit and therapy and rehabilitation services.
Niki Giles, secretary to the divisional manager for the project, said: “The same services offered at the old hospital will still be available at the new facility, but we will also have an Endoscopy unit (for bowl screening), which will serve the whole of Somerset. This is an extension to the hospital.”