Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK

Date Built
Hospital Way & Mindelsohn Way
The architects explain on their website that their brief for this project was to, "... design a 1231-bed acute teaching hospital, create an accident and emergency department, specialist burns and transplant wards, decontamination suite, operating theatres plus four separate specialist mental healthcare units, and masterplan the site."  The result was this £545m hospital built under a controvesial PFI scheme.  After what they describe as intensive consultations they designed, "... a compact hospital with distinct, efficient realms for the public, patients, staff and services.  Meanwhile, our masterplan created a green, open hospital campus featuring characterful quarters and a public plaza."

According to the hospital's Wikipedia page it, "... employs more than 6,900 members of staff and provides adult services to more than a half a million patients every year ... The hospital has the largest single-floor critical care unit in the world, with 100 beds, and is the home of the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine for military personnel injured in conflict zones. It is also a regional centre for trauma and burns. "

The hospital has, like a number of others around the country, had to deal with the ongoing financial challenges resulting from the PFI arrangement.  In addition, within a year of its opeing it faced a headline in the Daily Mail that described it as a, "... Farce of the new £545m NHS hospital which is too SMALL: Flagship unit forced to re-open old wards at the site it replaced". Adding that, "...Bosses say old wards need to be reopened to meet the 'unprecedented demand on services across the region, including the ageing population'".

The sculpture below stands outside the entrance to the hospital.  It was created by Richard Thornton who says on his website that it was, " .... Commissioned by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with the financial support of the Mindlesohn Foundation, as an iconic piece for the main entrance to the hospital to celebrate the coming together of several specialist hospitals on to one site.  8.5M tall in polished stainless steel the design takes advantage of the perspective of those viewing from the upper floors of the building, incorporates low-level lighting and embodies the strength and positive future of the new hospital."

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