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Major Expansion at The Wellington Hospital

13 January 2010

The biggest hospital expansion in 25 years includes a new cancer centre.

The Wellington Hospital in North London, Britain's largest private hospital, is to undergo a major expansion - in size almost a third as large again - to create a new outpatients and cancer centre in what will become the UK's largest such centre in the independent sector.

In the biggest development in the independent healthcare sector since The London Bridge Hospital was opened in the mid 1980s, The Wellington has acquired a 48,000 square foot building in Lodge Road, just south of the main Wellington Hospital campus.

Work is now underway on the £22 million redevelopment programme which will create the new Platinum Medical Centre providing a range of outpatient and day case diagnostics and procedures including a new one stop oncology service.  The new oncology centre will focus mainly on gastro intestinal cancers, together with liver cancer, head and neck cancers and gynaecological cancers.  In addition, there will also be a new breast care service based in the medical centre.

For several decades, The Wellington has had an international reputation for its intra-cranial cancer surgery in addition to its cardiac services and neuro rehabilitation. But for almost 20 years, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have been treated elsewhere.  But now the new cancer centre will be on the ground floor and include a ten bedded chemotherapy ward.  

The Platinum Medical Centre in Lodge Road, St John's Wood, will have a comprehensive diagnostic and imaging unit with the latest CT, MRI, X-ray, ultrasound and other new diagnostic technology.  The five storey building will have four operating theatres and 50 consulting rooms.

Outpatient clinics currently held in the main Wellington building will move to the new centre which it is hoped will be completed by October of next year.  The move will create more space allowing the main hospital to meet the increasing demand for complex tertiary medicine for which the hospital has an international reputation.  The Wellington already has two Intensive Care Units with 25 level three ITU beds - several of which can be isolation units.   As the new building is completed, the Wellington South building will have its 10 bed ITU rebuilt and reconfigured.  In all The Wellington will then have 50 level two and three critical care beds, more than any other independent hospital in the UK.

The hospital's Chief Executive Keith Hague said the new building couldn't come soon enough!  "We have been planning this major expansion for some time because of the increasing demand for our services and our need to introduce new areas of medicine including oncology," he said.  "We want to improve patient facilities and bring outpatient and day care services together in one unit, supported by a dedicated state of the art diagnostics unit."

"The new building will also enable us to introduce new cancer and breast care services.  We will move all outpatient services to the new building and that will free up space for yet more expansion of our complex tertiary services," said Mr Hague.  "We have expanded our critical care facilities twice in the past three years but we cannot keep up with demand at present.  This is partly due to our international reputation for complex treatments including neurosurgery, inter-cranial surgery, cardiac procedures, complex orthopaedic surgery and neuro rehabilitation," he said.

Meanwhile discussions are continuing about a potential joint venture with the MCC and Lords cricket ground which could result in extensive new Wellington Hospital facilities being built underground utilising the cavernous disused railway tunnels complex between Lords and the Wellington South Building.

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