New hospital will be 'cornerstone' of region, says council leader

A councillor leader has said the new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital in Smethwick will "become a cornerstone" in the region.

Rachel Barlow, director of system transformation, and Emma Loosley, senior commissioning manager – both of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust – and Councillor Rajbir Singh outside the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital
Rachel Barlow, director of system transformation, and Emma Loosley, senior commissioning manager – both of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust – and Councillor Rajbir Singh outside the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital

Sandwell Council leader Rajbir Singh visited the site of the new hospital to see how the project has been progressing, despite the challenges of the Covid pandemic.

The Midland Metropolitan University Hospital will be one of the most technologically advanced hospitals in the region and will provide integrated care for residents. Once completed, it will bring together teams who provide acute and emergency care, offering maternity, children and inpatient adult services.

With several new facilities, including trauma theatres, emergency theatres, maternity theatres and delivery suites, bosses say it will deliver a new level of care. Modern purpose-built facilities and state-of-the-art equipment will support faster patient diagnosis and improve patient outcomes, enabling clinical teams to provide enhanced patient care.

And 50 per cent of the beds at the Smethwick hospital will be in single rooms, with their own bathrooms – providing privacy and dignity, as well as bringing benefits in terms of infection prevention and control.

Councillor Singh said: “My visit to Midland Met has enabled me to meet with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust colleagues and see first-hand how well the project is progressing.

“Not only will the new hospital enhance the experiences of patients – providing excellence in clinical care – the positive change and opportunities afforded by the hospital are already providing a boost to the local economy, with 800 people – including local tradespeople – working on the project.

“Midland Met will become a cornerstone of the Black Country and West Birmingham region, breathing life into the heart of what was once the industrial West Midlands. Sandwell Council, Birmingham City Council, the West Midlands Combined Authority and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, together with Homes England and the Canal & River Trust, will focus on regenerating the Smethwick to Birmingham corridor.

"The hospital will play an essential part in these regeneration plans and help us build a better future for the local communities we serve.”

Rachel Barlow, director of system transformation for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “The aspirations for our new hospital reach far beyond providing effective clinical care. We are building a facility for our local communities to use.

"Our Winter Garden will have one of the largest gallery spaces in the region. We are also devising an arts and culture programme that will see a broad mix of content co-created and curated on-site at Midland Met. Plus, our opening festival will further help to bring our communities together.

“Beyond this, we are working across a partnership with Sandwell Council, Birmingham City Council, the Combined Authority and the Canal and River Trust to ensure Midland Met contributes directly to the wider regeneration in the region. We want to help improve the social and economic impact of what we can do as an organisation as well as improving health. That means we'll be supporting plans to implement cycle routes, housing projects and, we aspire to have the first university campus in Smethwick adjacent to the Midland Met site.”

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