Redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital - update

Things are progressing quickly with the redevelopment’s first new building and the helideck that is being constructed on the roof of the Thomas Kemp Tower.

The Stage 1 Building

This is the first of the two new clinical buildings that the redevelopment will provide. The construction site for the Stage 1 Building takes up the south east quarter of the hospital. It can be identified from across much of the city, marked out as it is by four tower cranes (five if you count the one building the helideck).

The underground floors that will house the building’s plant machinery and provide new car parking facilities are nearly complete. The concrete for the ground floor level is being poured. Once this is done, the pre-cast framework for the building can be brought to site and assembled.

Of all the phases of construction, putting up the framework will bring about the largest visible change, in the shortest time. The new building is getting ready to spring from the ground. As of April 2018 there wasn’t a single piece of the framework in place. Yet before the end of the year, the building’s entire 11-storey framework will be up. Once this is complete the building will be clad and fitted out.

The Stage 1 Building will open its doors in the winter of 2020/21. It will provide clinical accommodation for a wide range of services from Ear Nose and Throat outpatients to an expanded Intensive Therapy Unit. It will also be the new main entrance to the hospital.


The Helideck

The RSCH helideck will stand just over 18 storeys above the level of Eastern Road and will be the highest NHS helideck in the country, measured from sea level.

The support structure for the helideck is complete and work is starting on its surface. This will include a Deck Integrated Fire Fighting System (DIFFS). Typically used for off shore oil rigs, DIFFS can extinguish a fire within 15 seconds by spraying water and foam onto the deck. The system has been funded by an incredibly generous £650,000 donation from the HELP Appeal charity.

The structure for the dedicated helideck lift is working its way up the side of the Thomas Kemp Tower. When complete it will only open at the roof level and at level 5, where A&E is located. One of the existing lifts in the tower will be extended upwards to the roof so it can act as a back-up, should the helideck lift require maintenance.

The helideck will come into operation in the winter of 2018/19.

Completing the Redevelopment

Once Stage 1 is complete work will start on the Stage 2 Building, which will replace the Barry Building. It will be a new Cancer Centre in the main and will open in the winter of 2023/24. Once it is complete a much needed service yard will replace the existing Cancer Centre on the east side of the hospital. It will be complete in the winter of 2024/25 and bring the entire redevelopment to a close.

About the author

Suzy and Sarah are the Administrative Team for the Friends charity.

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