Happy birthday University College Hospital 

20/10/2015 00:00 
University College Hospital today celebrates the tenth anniversary of its opening.
 

Since it was officially opened in October 2005, University College Hospital has enjoyed a decade of growth, always looking to lead the way. In the last decade, more than 9.6 million patients have passed through the doors of the hospital on Euston Road. Almost 7.4 million outpatients appointments have been filled in that time, and attendances at our emergency department have risen by 57 per cent since 2005.

Her Majesty the Queen officially opened the hospital on 20 October 2005. Twin sisters and life-long University College Hospital patients Madaha and Faraha Malique were chosen to present a welcome posy.

“Wow – I can’t believe it is ten years ago!” said university student Madaha. “I remember waking up in the morning and being really excited. We wore traditional clothes and I had to stand on tip toe to see the Queen when she arrived because everyone stood up.”

The 21-year-old twins, who live in the Euston area, continue to attend the haematology department for treatment. They receive regular blood transfusions for thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder which results in large numbers of blood cells being destroyed.

Madaha said: “I loved the new hospital. Although I don’t want to think about all the blood transfusions we’ve had, I do remember that all the staff have been so nice, so easy to get along with.”  “It’s perfect,” added Faraha.

UCLH chief executive Sir Robert Naylor, who oversaw the development of the hospital, said: “University College Hospital has allowed us to provide excellent services for the local community as well as building UCLH’s reputation as a world-class provider of specialist services like cancer and women’s health. We are now working towards phases 4 and 5 of our development which will see us add world-class clinical facilities for cancer, ear nose and throat and dental patients.

“I am immensely proud to have been part of the team which built the hospital, and proud of the staff who over the last ten years have made it the success it now is.”

Keith Lawrence, operations director for UCLH’s PFI partners HMU, said: “I was involved in 1998 when it was still on the drawing board, on the building site in 2002 and through all its phases. It is still continually growing and evolving and is a blue print for healthcare organisations around the world. I am proud to be part of it.”

Members of UCLH staff who worked on the move from the old Middlesex Hospital to the new University College Hospital have been sharing their memories of the opening.

Geoff Bellingan
Then: clinical lead for critical care
Now:  medical director surgery and cancer board

“My memories were ones of a huge mix of emotions – we were excited at the idea of a much bigger and better intensive care unit – well fitted out and designed specifically for the kind of care we deliver. Equally we loved the old Middlesex building and the site, the paintings as you come in the main entrance, the courtyard and the “feel”. Once we moved in however it was so quickly apparent that the old Middlesex building was so much poorer as a clinical space to deliver excellent critical care that I felt almost guilty at never really looking back…”

Alison Clements
Then: Part of the move and migration team
Now: Head of operations, Medicine Clinical Board

“Opening up and moving into the new hospital was like a military operation with a full command and control room running into the early hours of the morning. During the quietest time after midnight, ambulances were asked to stop bringing patients to the old Emergency Department in Cecil Fleming House and come instead to the new ED at the new UCH, to keep disruption to a minimum.”

Amanda Webb
Then: Senior nurse A+E
Now: Clinical lead emergency transformation

“Moving into the new A+E is such a clear memory for me. The cleaners and builders were working up to the wire and as they were leaving, we were entering! It looked so clean and bright and modern and it made us feel good to come to work, we wondered how we had ever worked in the old building. Within a few weeks there was the 7/7 bombing and that was a significant test for the hospital as a whole. But we all rose to the challenge.”

 

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