Work begins on new premature baby unit after Midland Metropolitan delays

By George Makin | Smethwick | News | Published:

Emergency work has begun on transforming a neo-natal unit as hospital bosses in Sandwell await the completion of the Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick.

The Midland Metropolitan Hospital, in Smethwick

An extension to the present department at City Hospital will allow doctors to treat more premature babies by creating a six cot intensive care facility, along with a nurse base, quiet room and office space.

When the new single storey development is competed, work will begin on refurbishing the hospital's current special care and high dependency units which will continue to operate during the initial groundwork.

Special care will be taken to avoid disturbing patients and staff with acoustic barriers being installed against windows and machinery at all times.

In addition, external and internal noise levels will be monitored throughout the groundwork process to ensure levels are kept to a minimum and within required standards.

The extension is being built after construction of the new Metropolitan super hospital was halted in early 2018 after the building contractor Carillion went bust.

Toby Lewis, chief executive for the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, said: "Because of the delay to the opening of the Midland Met Hospital from 2018 to 2022 the trust sought, and received, funding to undertake some emergency works, notably at City Hospital.

“One priority project was to alter the layout of our neonatal unit. This work is nearing completion and should conclude over Christmas 2019.

“Once all the modules are in place, the existing neonatal units will be temporarily relocated to a suitable ward area so refurbishment works can begin.”

Health chiefs hope work to complete the Metropolitan can begin this autumn.

George Makin

By George Makin

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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