Demolition work marks next step in Birmingham hospital development

Published: 17-Dec-2021

Milestone for work to rebuild Birmingham women's and children's hospitals

Work has been completed on the demolition of Norton Court at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, pacing the way for the long-awaited redevelopment of the site.

Tilbury Douglas and local demolition and remediation partner, Armac Group, have finished work on Norton Court and the children’s dental hospital, putting Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust (BWC) one step closer to its ‘Big Build’ ambition to modernise and expand both its women’s and children’s hospitals.

Built in 1968, when it was known as Birmingham Maternity Hospital, the 220m by 12m Norton Court block was originally designed to provide residential accommodation for doctors and nurses.

But, over the years, it has housed a wide variety of hospital services including neonatal parent accommodation, medical engineering, and clinical genetics.

And, as time went on, it was obvious that the building was becoming outdated, unsightly, too expensive to maintain, and could not offer the same environment as other parts of the hospital.

With just 40% of the building occupied by 2019, the remaining staff moved out from Norton Court and into the £3.6m modular block, Lavender House, and other areas of the hospital, before demolition work began in October 2020.

These demolition projects mark both the end of an era and the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the trust

Working collaboratively with the onsite team over the COVID-19 pandemic, the demolition has been achieved according to the programme, with special care taken to reduce the impact of noise, dust, and disruption on the live hospital site.

Trust chief executive, Sarah-Jane Marsh, said: “While Norton Court is an integral part of the women’s hospital’s history, it was outdated, impractical, and the opposite of what women, men, and families expect from a specialist hospital.

“When I became chief executive in 2017, it was clear that the building was failing, not just in terms of modern health care provision, but also in providing a suitable working environment for our staff.

“No matter what the future holds, we are now fortunate to have land at both the women’s and children’s hospitals available to build on and the demolition of Norton Court marks another positive step forward in our ‘Big Build’ ambition to provide world-class facilities that our women, children, young people, and families truly deserve and that we can be proud of.”

Tilbury Douglas continues to be on site where work is continuing to remove the old boiler house and 38m-tall chimney.

Works will complete at the children’s hospital site next year.

Richard Myatt, contract manager for Tilbury Douglas Construction - Midlands, said: “We have been working with Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital for several years and while we are normally building something new for them, these demolition projects mark both the end of an era and the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the trust.”

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