Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust reached another milestone today in its early plans for two new hospitals at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) with the online publication of its Outline Planning Application (OPA) for the development by Leeds City Council.
The Trust has a vision to build a new adults’ hospital – with new theatres for day case procedures and added critical care facilities – and a brand-new Leeds Children’s Hospital, purpose-built for the needs of children and young people.
Last Autumn, as part of the process for submitting an OPA to the council’s planning department, the Trust held a two-month engagement period with people from Leeds and the wider region, inviting them to give their feedback on its proposals.
“We’d like to thank everyone who commented on our early plans,” said the Trust’s Acting Chief Executive, Yvette Oade. “Your views have already made an impact on the design of the hospitals.
“We know, for example, that many people find parking at the LGI very difficult. In response to these concerns we’ve increased the number of extra parking spaces we are proposing for the new development in the application we have made to the planning department.”
Leeds City Council’s Planning department will now consider the OPA and the Trust will continue its planning process, which involves submitting an Outline Business Case for the development. This will then be subject to the appropriate NHS review and approvals process.
The development of the new hospitals is part of an ambitious 10-year programme to transform healthcare for patients in Leeds and the wider region called, Hospitals of the Future.
They will be designed to support the next generation of healthcare for patients of all ages from Leeds, Yorkshire and beyond and built around the latest technologies and innovation to offer patients the most advanced, personalised care.
They will also play a significant role in Leeds’ emerging Innovation District, an area around the LGI that will be developed to be a hub for health research, innovation and technology.
Linda Pollard, CBE DL Hon LLD, Chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The potential of this development is enormous, not only for the future of health services for patients in Leeds and beyond, but also for skills and investment it will bring to the city and the vital role it will play in establishing the Innovation District.”
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake added: “It is very pleasing to see these fantastic plans continue to develop following the public engagement, with them now being ready for an initial consideration by the plans panel. These proposals would transform the Leeds General Infirmary site, offering enhanced specialist services and highest levels of care and support for people of all ages from Leeds and beyond.
“This investment in Leeds as a centre for developing pioneering new healthcare technology would also fit perfectly with our Innovation District, further enhancing the reputation of the city at the forefront of health innovation and research. We look forward to the proposals being discussed by the plans panel soon.”
To make way for the new hospitals, the Trust will demolish the Old Nurses’ Home at the LGI, an empty building that is no longer fit for modern healthcare. Other parts of the old estate at the LGI could be offered for redevelopment as part of the longer-term ambition for the Innovation District. The Trust will work with Leeds City Council and other stakeholders including Historic England, the Civic Trust and community groups to ensure iconic landmarks – like the Grade I listed Gilbert Scott Building – are sympathetically developed to preserve them for future generations.
Moving forward, the Trust will develop the hospitals’ design to the next stage, preparing a detailed design brief and specifications. It will consider all the comments received so far on its proposals, which will help to ensure the hospitals are the best environment for patients and staff.
“Submitting the Outline Planning Application for Hospitals of the Future is a really exciting step forward, not just for the Trust but also for our patients,” said Yvette Oade. “Although the Trust still has some way to go to secure approvals and funding, it is closer to realising its vision for a landmark healthcare development for Leeds and the wider region.
“It’s fantastic that as the plans progress, we’re able to take on board comments from our patients and the wider public, so that the new hospitals are designed around their needs.”