A new £25m state-of-the-art independent/private sector hospital in Swansea, South Wales, officially opened for business this week.
HMT Sancta Maria Hospital, which is owned and operated by not-for-profit healthcare specialist the Healthcare Management Trust (HMT), has been under construction at Swansea’s SA1 Waterfront, a brownfield development area located in the northern part of Swansea Docks, for nearly two years.
HMT has had a presence in Swansea since the 1950s but the scale of investment in the new facility is being seen as a welcome vote of confidence in the independent/private healthcare sector which is less represented in Wales than in other parts of the UK.
The new hospital offers a range of improved facilities including on-site diagnostic equipment in the form of an MRI scanner and digital X-ray machine. It also has on-site parking, step-free access, 12 en-suite patient bedrooms, three surgical theatres and a dedicated day surgery unit.
Sancta Maria has been providing private healthcare from its Uplands hospital since 1958. A HMT spokesperson said, though, that after adapting its premises in Uplands over the last several decades, HMT decided that a new purpose-built facility was required to continue to offer the highest standards of healthcare to its patients and to improve the patient experience with advanced diagnostic equipment in a more accessible building.
Tony Barrett, chief executive of HMT, added: “The opening of the new hospital is a landmark event for the charity. This is the culmination of hard work and of a determination to keep quality healthcare right here in Swansea. It is the result of extensive collaboration with our design team, construction company Kier, local partners, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, our employees, and the entire community.
“We are keen to improve the patient experience and make sure individuals and families receive the treatment and support they need to lead healthy lives. We are committed to continue our vision of delivering high quality healthcare in the most appropriate way and this new hospital will enable us to do this.”
John Folliott Vaughan, chairman of HMT, stated: “This is an exciting day for the charity and for the community of Swansea. Our trustees would like to thank the many partners who contributed their visions, persistence and hard work that resulted in the completion and opening of our new hospital. We would also like to thank the community for its support as the vision has become a reality, continuing the caring tradition of the original founders of Sancta Maria, the Ursuline Sisters. With this new hospital we intend to continue providing quality healthcare in Swansea for many years to come.”
The HMT spokesperson said that the organisation will continue to work with NHS Wales and Swansea Bay University Health Board throughout the pandemic as it continues to offer support and to relieve some of the pressure that the NHS is currently experiencing.
Hospital director Geoff Bailey said: “While we won’t be having the opening party that we would want, we are incredibly proud to showcase this new facility to our patients and to bring with us the same exemplary care that we have offered for many years in the Uplands.
“We will also be replicating our stringent Covid safety measures at the new hospital which sees visitors have their temperatures taken on arrival as well as wearing masks and sanitising their hands. The new facility, with its wider corridors and more open spaces will allow us to better manage the patient flow for the time being.”
Construction of the £25m hospital was completed by Kier. The building includes a range of eco-friendly features including ten electric car charging spaces for staff and guests, a solar photovoltaic array on the roof covering 150m2 to sustainably power the building and ultra-high performance thermally efficient timber composite windows throughout.
Jason Taylor, operations director for Kier Regional Building Western & Wales, said: “I am delighted to hand over the new facilities to the hospital team at HMT Sancta Maria. It has been a truly collaborative effort from everyone involved and the result is a quality building and state-of-the-art amenities that will support the hospital in serving the Swansea community for years to come.
“We have utilised our vast experience within the healthcare sector and worked with our local and trusted supply chain partners to deliver this scheme and I am delighted it is now ready and staff can move in and start to make use of their new hospital.”
Architectural and Principal Designer services were provided by global design and technology firm IBI Group.