New £15.7m Acute Medical Unit opens at Torbay Hospital

Image: Key partners involved in the project and staff who will work on the unit celebrate the opening of Torbay Hospital's new Acute Medical Unit (AMU).

Published: 2 December 2022

The first ‘concrete’ steps have been taken this week towards building a brighter future at a celebratory opening ceremony to mark the completion of Torbay Hospital’s new Acute Medical Unit (AMU).

The long awaited multi-million-pound project has delivered a brand-new AMU which is split over two levels and will see a wide variety of patients who require varying levels of care. It has 36 assessment spaces and will allow patients to receive timely, high quality care, in the right place. Referrals will be taken from both the Emergency Department as well as directly from GPs, the community and other specialties.

The unit’s new location is of particular significance as it is located alongside the Emergency Department. Having these two units located side-by-side will improve the flow of patients across the two departments allowing for more timely patient reviews and an overall enhanced patient experience.

Torbay Hospital’s League of Friends donated over £500,000 to the project with the funds helping to equip the AMU with new patient trolleys and recliners.

A huge team of designers, planners, engineers, architects – KTA, staff from across the Trust, and appointed construction partner Kier, have worked hard to turn this vision into a reality.

Dr Alice Miller, Consultant and Clinical Lead Acute Medicine at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The opening ceremony was a very proud and exciting moment for us as it signifies the start of better buildings for our patients and staff where we can provide not only better care, but the right care, in the right place.

“By working together, we have been able to create these fabulous new facilities that offer a modern, patient focused environment for all and we’re looking forward to opening the doors to the first patient arrivals in mid-December.”

Sir Richard Ibbotson, Chairman of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, continued: “The first seeds were planted for this project a number of years ago and we cannot thank everyone enough for their hard work in seeing this project come to fruition as we work towards building our brighter future.

“This successful development was made possible due to the hard work and support of Kier Construction, KTA architects, and the many skilled designers, planners, engineers and contractors involved. A special thanks also goes to the members of MAKE South West who kindly donated artworks to enhance and uplift areas of the unit.

“However, without the insight and dedication of our internal departments – from our acute medicine colleagues to our estates teams – none of this would have been possible and it is to them that we owe huge gratitude. Our estates teams in particular have gone above and beyond to make this project what it is today.

“Our building a brighter future programme is about us wanting to make a real difference to how we deliver services with, to, and for our people and our new AMU is a big step towards us achieving that vision.”

Sir Richard Ibbotson, added: “And of course, the most heartfelt of thanks goes to our wonderful League of Friends for their very generous donation of over £500,000 to help equip our new AMU. Every patient we treat in will have benefited in some way from their work; whether it is from new state-of-the-art equipment or comforts for patients. Their unwavering support is invaluable to us all.”

Roy Tuttle, Chairman of Torbay Hospital’s League of Friends, said: “The opening celebrations are the culmination of years of planning and we in the League of Friends are delighted to have been closely involved with its progress.

“I remember when the project was first pitched to us some time ago – since then we have seen quite substantial changes in its design caused by the impact of Covid-19 and the need to streamline the Emergency Department.

“While we sorely miss our café Butterflies on Level 2, this new and splendid building, split over two levels and with 36 assessment spaces, will be a tremendous benefit to all future patients who will be seen quicker and by the right people. The League is proud to have contributed over £500,000 towards direct equipment in the AMU and a further £1.3m for new scanners for emergency and cancer patients. We are determined to continue to support future projects as required.”

Doug Lloyd, Regional Director, Kier Construction Western and Wales, commented: “We are delighted to have delivered the Acute Medical Unit on behalf of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust. The new state-of-the-art facility will play an important part in supporting medical care for local people.

“We have vast experience in delivering healthcare projects in live hospital environments, while maintaining the critical ongoing services and we are proud to have worked in partnership with the Trust to deliver the AMU. It is testament to the hard work and dedication of the designers, the Trust and Kier staff along with our supply chain that this critical project has been successfully delivered on time.”

Work began to prepare the site back in late 2020 and, in March 2021, a groundbreaking ceremony marked the official start of the building work.

During the build, over 1,000 people have worked on the site over the last two years with 243 tonnes of steel used to form the frame of the building. More than 1,100m3 of concrete has been used with over 100km of cabling laid and 460 light fittings installed. In addition, 92 per cent of all the construction waste was diverted from landfill.

For more information and latest updates on our building a brighter future programme, visit our developments page.