Southmead Hospital

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Southmead Hospital
North Bristol NHS Trust
Southmead Hospital Training Centre
Southmead Hospital is located in Bristol
Southmead Hospital
Shown in Bristol
Location Southmead, Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°29′49″N 2°35′38″W / 51.497°N 2.594°W / 51.497; -2.594Coordinates: 51°29′49″N 2°35′38″W / 51.497°N 2.594°W / 51.497; -2.594
Care system Public NHS
Hospital type District General
Affiliated university University of Bristol, Faculty of Health and Social Care University of West of England
Emergency department Yes Accident & Emergency
Founded 1902
Lists Hospitals in England

Southmead Hospital is a large hospital, situated in the northern suburbs of Bristol, England, part of the North Bristol NHS Trust. The new hospital building called Brunel Building opened in May 2014, transferring most services including Accident and Emergency from Frenchay Hospital.[1] Southmead is served by local charity Freewheelers EVS, whose volunteers provide a free-of-charge motorcycle courier service between Southmead and other hospitals in the area. Notable former medical staff include Geoffrey Tovey, serologist and founder of the UK Transplant Service, which was initially based at the hospital.


Dr Gibson-Hill examines a patient with a stethoscope at Southmead Hospital in 1942

The hospital opened in 1902 as a 64 bed workhouse for poor sick people. By 1911 there were 520 beds.

During World War I, the facilities were used as an army hospital.[2] The facilities reverted to a workhouse in the early 1920s and were then greatly extended to accommodate all the sick.

In 1924, the Southmead Infirmary was built and was later renamed Southmead Hospital.[3] The hospital has been greatly expanded and now covers 60 acres (240,000 m2).

New hospital[edit]

In 2005, another expansion was planned which included moving some services from Frenchay Hospital to the Southmead site. This resulted in Frenchay Hospital being downgraded to a Community Hospital. The project should be finished in late 2013 and its expected to open in April 2014. Full approval for the project was given by the NHS South West board in January 2009.[4] In 2010, it was announced that Carillion was to design and build the hospital.[5] The new hospital, built at the cost of £430 million, will bring all the departments and services under one roof. As of Summer 2012, the hospital's exterior was completed and made water tight.

A New Southmead building
New Southmead building under construction

The new hospital building will be called Brunel Building which was named after Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a Bristol engineer, and will include 800 beds, 24 theatres, patient gardens, a public square, a helipad and visitors multi-storey car park.[6] It will also have a fully glazed concourse roof which will allow natural light to flood into the building. There will be 75% single bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, this will help to control the spread of infections and improve privacy and dignity to patients. The building will be oriented so that the hospital's naturally ventilated wards can take the warming sun in the mornings but are shaded in the hot afternoon sun.

The new accident and emergency department was opened on 19 May 2014 transferring existing operations from Frenchay Hospital.[7]

Parking Issues[edit]

Since the opening of Southmead Hospital's Brunel building, there has been a shortage of parking spaces due to high demands at the hospital for visitors, patients and staff.[8] Currently patients and visitors are having to park on residential streets, which has lead to complaints from residents in the local area, or at the nearby Beaufort Way multi-storey car park, but however this car park is usually full. As well as this, staff are having to give up their parking spaces for patients and visitors.[9] In addition, the completion of a multi-storey car park, which will bring the total number of parking spaces at the hospital to 2,700, has been delayed as of December 2014 until spring 2016.[10]

Transport links[edit]

The following buses terminate within the grounds of the Hospital 17, 18, 24, 82, 505, 506. The following buses pass the Hospital entrances 2, 76, 501, 502.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]