The main entrance at St George’s Hospital is to gain a complete make-over in a major refurbishment scheme beginning in the spring.

This is the first time the entrance to the hospital has been given a face-lift since the Tooting Hospital opened in the late 1970s. Pictured above is an artist’s impression of what the new main entrance will look like. The work, which will take around 10 months to complete, will see the main arrival area at St George’s for patients, visitors and staff completely transformed.

The £2.5 million project is being funded by the St George’s Hospital Charity and is in response to a detailed survey of patients, staff and visitors carried out in 2006.

Neal Deans, the Trust’s Director of Estates and Facilities said: “Over 10,000 people pass through this area every working day and it is also a waiting area for patients and visitors – yet this key area only has minimal seating.

“Everyone we surveyed agreed that improvements were needed. The new main entrance will offer a new patient transport lounge, a coffee shop, plentiful seating, cash point machines and a convenience shop selling toothpaste, pyjamas, baby clothes and other goods.

“Thanks to the generosity of the St George’s Hospital Charity, the work will encompass much more than just a new front entrance. The whole area from the front door to the entrance to the hospital proper will be redesigned to make people’s arrival to St George’s a much more pleasant experience with the facilities to match.”

The new patient transport lounge will have its own internal and external exits, with more spaces for wheelchairs and toilet facilities, offering privacy and dignity to patients waiting for transport, many of whom are elderly people leaving the hospital to go home or to a care home.

Charity Chairman, Gill Noble, said: “This exciting, major refurbishment is by far the largest project the Hospital Charity has funded, but it is fully in line with our aims – to use the money we hold to bring real benefits to the patients and staff in areas where the Trust is not able to make grants or cannot stretch its budget.

“We are delighted with the new and improved facilities that the new foyer will provide for patients, staff and visitors. We are especially pleased that they reflect so closely the findings of the survey the Trust carried out. The Trust listened to what people had to say and acted on their views.”

The project will see the front entrance rebuilt out under the undercroft of the Grosvenor Wing to include an outside seating area with trees providing shade, as well as landscaping framing the entrance. Inside, the main reception desk will be redesigned in sustainable materials and the existing floor surface will be retained but thoroughly cleaned and improved.

Added Neal: “The work is set to begin in earnest at the beginning of April and will be completed by the New Year of 2009. Work on some of the access ways has already begun and we are providing information for patients, local residents and visitors to the hospital to ensure there is as little inconvenience and disruption as possible during the rebuilding work.”

The services currently operating from this area of the hospital, including the main enquiries desk, will be relocated during the duration of the works, and while the front entrance is closed provisions will be made to direct all visitors to nearby alternative entrances to access the hospital.

Notes to editors

  1. For more information, please contact Dan Pople for the Trust on 020 8725 5151 or Liz Woods for the Charity on 020 8725 4522.
  2. St George’s Hospital Charity (registered charity number 241527) supports the patients and staff of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust by awarding grants to enable improvements in hospital buildings, facilities and equipment, for innovation and research and for the direct benefit of patients and staff.